16 years of marriage only for David Rapp to blew $857,142 of their fortune on drink, drugs and call girls.
Wife, Francoise, home maker, successfully argued she should get more than half of their $19.5m fortune, gets a $10.57m … $1.7m more than her husband
“When approaching the wife’s budget, the judge is entitled to take account, as I did, of the parties’ high standard of living during the marriage.”
David Rapp’s former wife Francoise
David Rapp and his wife Francoise enjoyed a life of luxury for 16 years, living in a $5million flat in one of London’s most prestigious addresses and spending almost every weekend in Monte Carlo, but David was a drinker, drug addict and user of call girls. After years of putting up with it, Francoise walked out in 2009. The court was told that in the early years of their relationship, Mr Rapp did not take drugs, but his life began to spiral out of control in 2003.
At one stage he checked into a rehabilitation clinic in South Africa, but he continued to struggle with addiction and he eventually lost his job when his employers found out about his behaviour. Mrs Rapp, 47, was unable to say exactly how much her husband had spent on servicing his vices.
But in a divorce hearing last December, Judge Mark Everall QC said £600,000 had probably gone on drink, drugs and escorts in just three years after they split. He said Mr Rapp’s conduct justified a departure from the usual rule that assets are split equally in big money cases.
The judge awarded the wife $10.57m, including the Knightsbridge apartment, and Mr Rapp £8.86m.
Challenging the ruling on appeal, Mr Molyneux said Mr Rapp’s spending was not a “lifestyle choice”, adding that he had been acting “in the teeth of compulsion”.
He said: “There’s nothing morally culpable about a man who suffers from an addiction…addiction is punishment enough. One takes one’s spouse as one finds them.
“This was a pattern of behaviour which had stretched back into history from 2003. He was an addict, he is addicted, and he is a habitual drug user. He has serious problems with substances.
“That was absolutely common ground between everybody involved in these proceedings. It’s wrong to say the achievement of a fair outcome requires that she gets £1.2m more than he gets.”
But Mr Shaw said the settlement had been fair given Mrs Rapp’s her future needs and her ex-husband’s behaviour.
He said: “It was wanton, it was reckless, and family money was frittered away.”