Billionaire’s estranged wife can’t block art, townhouse sales: judge
Libbie Mugrabi lost her grip on hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate and contemporary masterpieces amid concerns that her billionaire art-dealer husband David Mugrabi may send their money “south” during their bitter divorce battle.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Douglas Hoffman said he couldn’t legally block David from selling a $72 million Upper East Side townhouse and 50 pieces of art, including an Andy Warhol, because the assets were owned by LLCs.
An LLC funded by David’s father bought 12 E. 82nd St. — the former lair of Jocelyn “Catwoman” Wildenstein — for $15 million in 2013.
David and Libbie then sunk $57 million into a five-year renovation, her lawyer Kevin McDonough said.
But David’s attorney Sheila Riesel said the project was paid for by the LLC, exempting it from selling restrictions because it belongs to corporate entities, which, the judge said, also applies to the art that was hanging in the family’s Water Mill summer home.
David’s family are the world’s foremost Warhol collectors, with an art portfolio estimated to be $5 billion.
McDonough insisted the townhouse and art are marital assets.
“Making sure they don’t go south is of preeminent importance,” he said.
Libbie can still try to claw back the assets as the divorce proceeds.
They’re due back in court next week.
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