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7 Aug 2017

Russian Billionaire and Chelsea Owner, Roman Abramovich Splits from 3rd Wife, Dasha Zhukova

Russian billionaire and Chelsea football club owner, Roman Abramovich and his partner, Dasha Zhukova, have separated, a spokesman for Abramovich confirmed on Monday.
Roman Abramovich and Dasha Zhukova in 2013
Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch and owner of Chelsea FC, has separated from his wife of ten years, Dasha Zhukova.

The couple, who have two children, said the split was amicable.

In a joint statement, they said: “After 10 years together, the two of us have made the difficult decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents and partners in the projects we developed together.

“We are committed to jointly raising our two children. We will also continue to work together as co-founders of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the New Holland Island cultural center in Saint Petersburg.”

Ms Zhukova, an art collector who is 15 years' Mr Abramovich's junior, the independently wealthy daughter of a Russian oil magnate, was Mr Abramovich’s third wife.

The couple were first spotted together in 2005 at a Chelsea-Barcelona game in Spain.



At the time, Mr Abramovich was still married to his second wife, Irina Vyacheslavovna Malandina, and it was thought Ms Zukhova was seeing Lord Freddie Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, after splitting from long-time boyfriend, tennis player Marat Safin.

But the friendship strengthened and Miss Zhukova and her father, Alexander Zhukov, were invited to Mr Abramovich's New Year party later that year.

Her father is himself an oil, metals and banking tycoon who owns a mansion block in Kensington, west London, where his daughter lived, as well as homes in New York and Moscow.

The couple secretly married around nine years ago.

Ms Zhukova, 36, had always been referred to as his girlfriend but in 2015, she revealed in a magazine interview that the couple in fact tied the knot during a private ceremony in 2008.

Their first child, Mr Abramovich's sixth, Aaron Alexander, was born in December 2009 and daughter Leah Lou was born in April 2013, both in the United States.

Mr Abramovich, 50, married his first wife, Olga Yurevna Lysova, in December 1987 but was divorced just three years later.

He wed Ms Malandina in 1991, before he made his fortune in the Russian privatisation boom, and their marriage lasted 16 years.



But the couple were said to have been driven apart by his devotion to his business interests and football club, which he bought for £140 million in 2003.

They were given a "quickie" divorce in Moscow in 2007, with the oligarch paying a settlement in the region of £150million, one of the largest ever seen.

Although details have remained hidden under Russia’s secretive legal system, it is thought Ms Malandina was given a lump sum as well as four homes, including the £18million Fyning Hill Estate in Petersfield, West Sussex, which was Abramovich's main base in the UK as well as two London properties at Eaton Square and Chester Square.

It was reported at the time that Ms Malandina, a former air stewardess, had consulted leading British divorce lawyers. Had she chosen to pursue her husband through the British courts she could have been entitled to half his £11 billion fortune.

Mr Abramovich  made his money from property, steel and mining since the collapse of communism in Russia.

In 1995 he and fellow oligarch Boris Berezovsky acquired the controlling interest in the oil company Sibneft for a fraction of its real worth.

Mr Abramovich later acquired stakes in several other companies, including the aluminium giant Rusal and the airline Aeroflot. He went on to sell his stakes in Sibneft and Rusal for billions.

The businessman, whose friendship with Russian president Vladimir Putin has been likened to a father-son relationship, is ranked as No. 139 on Forbes Billionaires List, with a reported $9.1 billion.

The couple own homes in London, Moscow, Colorado, the Caribbean and the South of France and Mr Abramovich famously owns some of the world's biggest yachts.

Ms Zhukova, who is on the board of the Metropolitan Museum, is thought to have converted the football-loving oligarch to the joy of art and he has quietly established himself as the world's leading collector of modern and contemporary art.

The couple has a major private art collection and last year, Mr Abramovich got the go-ahead to turn three Upper East Side townhouses into an 18,000-square-foot mega-mansion.

Ms Zhukova once owned her own fashion label Kova & T and was briefly editor of avant garde fashion magazine, POP.

In 2014, she was pictured sitting on a chair designed to resemble a half-naked black woman.

She later apologised, saying: "I utterly abhor racism, and would like to apologise to anyone who has been offended by this image."

She now owns runs her own magazine, Garage, -as well as an arts centre in Russia which is part-funded by her husband.

-The Telegraph UK

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