Inside the Drama (and Possible Curse) of This Real-Estate Billionaire’s Divorce

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Imagine the horror of being forced to spend less than $25,000 every month on living expenses. Now imagine the horror of having $1.7 billion you have to share with someone else. This is the nightmare faced by Michael Fuchs, the billionaire co-owner of (among many other things) the Chrysler Building, and Alvina Collardeau-Fuchs in their divorce proceedings. According to Bloomberg, Collardeau-Fuchs says the RFR Holding co-founder and principal is making her life “intolerable” by capping her monthly spending at $25,000. Previously, she had been running through more than $200,000 a month — back when life was fair. If she kept that up, Fuchs could see his wealth all but disappear within the next 708 years. (Relatable problems all around!)

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Collardeau-Fuchs’s lawyer told Bloomberg that before the divorce, the couple “ran a number of fully staffed homes in fashionable areas of the world, traveled extensively and spent according to their means, which were effectively unlimited.” She would prefer that things go back to the way they were, and Fuchs would prefer not to have his vast and un-spendable wealth shared by someone who is not him.

Just another story about the obscenely wealthy squabbling over their obscene wealth? Maybe — or maybe it’s the latest manifestation of the Chrysler Building curse. Follow me as I state some simple facts: The previous owners of the building sold it to RFR for $150 million, a huge loss from the $800 million they paid in 2008. In 1975, the building went into foreclosure. Its basement was once filled with “an estimated 1,200 cubic yards of trash.” Its developer began construction in 1928 — a year before the Great Depression kicked off. It was the tallest building in the world — but for less than two years. (Then the Empire State Building came along.) Is owning the Chrysler Building cursed? No one except the Lord herself can know for sure. All I’m saying is I personally would not choose to own the Chrysler Building or marry someone who does.

This Real-Estate Billionaire’s Divorce Drama Is Very Messy