Divorce “Befitting a Getty” Costs a Million a Month

Aug 8, 2012 by

It appears that no amount of money can fix a marriage headed for imminent divorce, or at least not for the heir to the Getty oil fortune, Peter Getty. Peter and wife of 9 years, Jacqui, have been involved in a long-running divorce battle that is currently underway in Los Angeles Superior Court. The public divorce documents in the case provide a fascinating glimpse into a dysfunctional relationship in the upper stratosphere of finances where society’s wealthiest families play.

Jacqui Getty claims her fairy-tale life turned into a nightmare when Peter became verbally and emotionally abusive to the point of breaking her arm and locking her in their multi-million dollar Los Angeles mansion. Of course, there are ridiculous sums of money involved in the split, as Peter is the sole heir to his father’s fortune, estimated to be about $2 billion, thanks mainly to the 1986 sale of Getty Oil to Texaco. Court documents show that Jacqui is requesting that the court order Peter to pay her enough money to “allow her to live a reasonable and comfortable lifestyle that is at or close to the lifestyle” that the couple enjoyed during their marriage. It will take a whole lot of cash to maintain the life of luxury Mrs. Getty has been used to though.

As a member of what Jacqui called “one of the wealthiest and most socially prominent families in the United States” she said, “We had a lifestyle that I am certain is beyond what most people could imagine or will ever be able to enjoy but, as I was told, that was ‘just the way it is’ when your name is Getty.” The court documents show Jacqui enjoyed a life of private jets and unlimited expenses until the marriage began to falter in June 2008. That the couple jetted around the globe racking up huge bills at the best shops, hotels and restaurants is not surprising. However, the documents also show that Peter Getty couldn’t be bothered to pack any luggage when traveling, and instead preferred to buy all new clothing when he got where he was going. The couple’s six-bedroom Los Angeles home features a ball room and their daughter’s bed cost a cool $1 million.

Jacqui apparently knows that living anywhere near close to her previous lifestyle will not be inexpensive and is now requesting Peter pay her $1 million a month in support and has requested a Restraining Order that will require him to stay 100 feet away from her at all times. One million dollars a month is a figure that approaches the budget of many cities and small countries. Regardless of whether or not Jacqui is used to living large, the proposed settlement does seem rather excessive, and one can only wonder what better use the money could be put to if it were not wasted frivolously on travel and entertainment for a privileged few.


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