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judge has said that Mr Bannatyne, who recently appeared on the ITV reality programme ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!’ and whom is believed to be worth around £187 million, provided false evidence to the court during legal proceedings.
The Mail on Sunday has claimed that back in 2012, Bannatyne misrepresented the true value of a severance package drawn up when Graham Armstrong, who formerly ran one of Bannatyne’s health and fitness companies, left his employment. When submitting to the court details of his assets and business affairs in relation to the divorce case, the newspaper is claiming that the entrepreneur said the severance deal was worth £10 million when it was in fact worth £6 million.
By overstating this figure, this would reduce the share of the assets that Mrs Bannatyne was entitled to claim. The Mail on Sunday claimed it had seen evidence of a backdated severance agreement and forged board minutes, which Mr Bannatyne submitted in order to declare the value of his assets.
Gagging order overturned
It has been claimed that the multi-millionaire attempted to stop the Mail on Sunday reporting the allegations, stating that the details of his divorce should be kept private because of the public interest in “maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of the divorce financial remedy proceedings". Judge David Hodge has rejected Mr Bannatyne’s call for privacy on this matter, saying that there was a public interest in exposing a person’s attempts to mislead a court, even the former Dragon had admitted his actions and apologised. The judge said:
"In my judgment, there is a public interest in making it clear that if someone does provide false evidence to a court, with a view to misleading the court for their own financial gain, or for the financial gain of an associate, then it will do them no good to admit that fact without fear of any repercussions.”
A ‘fraught’ divorce battle
The divorce case between Mr Bannatyne and his ex-wife Joanne was described by the judge himself as ‘fraught”, and this wasn’t the first instance of acrimony between the two regarding the split. In fact, the former BBC star once labelled his ex-wife a “gold digger” on his Twitter account. The pair are now officially and legally divorced, but litigation between Mr Bannatyne and his former associate Mr Armstrong is still ongoing.
If you’re preparing for a divorce and you have questions or concerns regarding the declaration or disposal of assets, or perhaps you’re finding your financial affairs too complicated to even start thinking about – it makes sense to get in touch with an expert. The team at Tracey Miller Family Law Solicitors have vast experience in all aspects of divorce and family law, and they can help to make the process much easier.