Last summer, I was genuinely surprised to learn that the father of Linda Evangelista’s son Augustin was none other than Salma Hayek’s husband, Francois-Henri Pinault. Pinault fathered Augustin before he and Salma met and married (although the timeline seems wonky to me). Linda kept the paternity under wraps for several years, but then she sued for child support and now the whole thing is being worked out in a New York City courthouse. Linda is still asking for $46,000 A MONTH in child support, which Pinault is fighting tooth and nail. I’m including photos of Linda in court yesterday, and a photo of Salma and Pinault at a Lakers game a few weeks ago. Linda and her lawyers have officially “taken the gloves off” in the legal proceedings – you can read the NY Post’s extensive coverage here, and I’m including some of the juiciest parts below. Linda’s lawyer says that Pinault asked Linda to get an abortion.
Linda Evangelista’s billionaire French baby-daddy Francois-Henri Pinault wanted her to have an abortion, the supermodel’s lawyer claimed as their contentious child support trial kicked off today in Manhattan Family Court. The two spent the afternoon embroiled in a bitter child-support trial set to determine Pinault’s obligations for their 5-year-old son, Augustin, conceived during the couple’s fleeting, four-month affair from 2005.
The gorgeous Evangelista, 46, has presented Pinault with a list of Augie’s monthly expenses totaling more than $46,000 a month — in hopes Pinault will pay all or most of it. Pinault, meanwhile, has blasted Evangelista for seeking not just child support, but “mom support” as well, claiming through anonymous sources that the cover girl’s requests “don’t pass the smell test.”
Augie’s expenses include $15-16,000 a month for gun-toting, ex-NYPD detective chauffeurs, plus a 24-hour nanny costing almost $7,000 a month.
“After some initial happiness, he told her he wished she would terminate the pregnancy,” Evangelista’s lawyer William Beslow told a support magistrate, taking the gloves off in describing a conversation from Jan. 2006.
Evangelista, who was then in her early 40s, told Pinault she would keep the baby.
“She would support the child herself,” Evangelista told him, “since he had made it perfectly clear to her that he had no interest in doing so,” the lawyer said. “And she did. ”
On the stand, Pinault said he met Evangelista in May of 2005, began dating her in September, and learned of the pregnancy in early 2006.
“I asked her what was her intention with the pregnancy. I was not involved in the decision of having babies,” he said. “We were dating four months and I didn’t even know her very much.”
The Frenchman admitted he dumped Evangelista because he wanted nothing to do with the baby.
“She was so happy to be pregnant,” he remembered. “But it was not planned. I decided to stop the relationship at that point.”
Asked then by Beslow whether he believed Evangelista had intentionally become pregnant, he answered: “Well, she can answer that but I guess… I was not involved in the decision of having a baby,” he said. “Then of course, I told her I would recognize the baby which I did. I would take my responsibility and I did. ”
The four-month affair crashed and burned before — four months later — Pinault met his future wife, actress Salma Hayek. He was due to spend most of the afternoon on the witness stand, describing his finances under questioning by Beslow. In opening statements shortly after 2 p.m., Beslow insisted that Evangelista is not seeking to elevate either her or her son’s station in life. But for the first four years of Augie’s life, she has paid all of his expenses, “without one penny, franc or euro in financial contribution from the father,” Beslow said — despite Pinault’s in excess of $3 billion dollars in worth, plus annual income approaching $5 million.
Evangelista suffered a “tremendous diminution in her income in 2011,” Beslow said, due to the conclusion of her contract as the face of L’Oreal.
“Ms. Evangelista is not looking to piggyback on the lifestyle of Mr. Pinault,” Beslow insisted. “She is looking for a continuation of the reasonable lifestyle of Augie.”
Pinault’s lawyer, David Aronson, countered in his own opening statement that Pinault had repeatedly tried to broach the topic of support payments with Evangelista’s prior lawyers, only to be met with a “deafening” silence. Now, she is trying to shake Pinault down for what is, in effect, alimony, he complained.
“Most of the expenses [in Evangelista's list of $46,000-a-month in child care expenses] do not relate to Augie but they relate to Ms. Evangelista,” he said. “It is the classic case of someone trying to bootstrap herself to something that is alimony. Is Mr. Pinault a comfortable man of substantial means? Yes.” Aronson said. “But in the four years preceding 2011, her average income was $1.8 million,” he said.
“These people have more money than a lot of people,” Aronson conceded. “But our position is that what we understand is being asked for is just ridiculous.”
Evangelista hasn’t been able to provide a clear accounting of how much the chauffeurs work for Augie, and how much they work for her, Aronson has complained in prior hearings.
“The great majority of these expenses … are expenses that Ms. Evangelista claims on her tax returns are deductible business expenses,” he said today.
But Augie is just seeking a comparable lifestyle to what Pinault lavishes on Valentina, his 4-year-old daughter by Hayek, Beslow argues. Pinault spends $50,000 a month just on the taxes, upkeep and loan payments for the $12 million Los Angeles home he’s put in trust for the girl, Valentina.
[From The New York Post]
So… Linda supported her son herself until 2011, and that’s when she asked Pinault to contribute something to support his son, and his lawyers balked. So she sued for $46,000 a month. While I can’t even imagine how awesome it would be to be have $46,000 a month, when you think about it… that’s $552,000 a year, presumably until Augie turns 18, which will happen in about 12 years. So… if Linda gets what she wants, Pinault will be paying out about $6.6 million for his son. Once again, a huge amount of money. But Pinault is a billionaire and he’s spending much more than that on his daughter Valentina, with Salma Hayek. I don’t know… I think both Pinault and Evangelista seem kind of crazy here. *shrugs*
Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.