SCOTS Lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone has claimed her former husband has banned her from taking items - including a baby grand piano birthday gift - from the marital home which is now on the market for offers over £1.5 million following the couple’s bitter split.
Ms Mone, 42, has said she was “heartbroken” at being forced to sell her dream home after her former husband Michael refused to let her buy him out of his share of Thorntonhall, their luxury villa in a wealthy suburb beloved of footballers, celebrities on outskirts of Glasgow.
Telperion - named after one of the trees in the Lord of the Rings - which has 12 large rooms comes complete with its own cinema with reclining leather seats, a 30ft recreation room and bar converted from a former triple garage. It is also “OCD-proofed” because both Mones suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. The condition led to them installing four dishwashers to avoid dirty dishes lying around.
The couple, who have three children - Rebecca, 20, Declan, 16 and Bethany, 12 - cofounded Ultimo in 1996 and built it up to a an estimated £50 million enterprise.
However, they divorced in January amid accusations from Ms Mone that Mr Mone, 46, had begun an affair with former Ultimo designer 32-year-old Samatha Bunn. Mr Mone has since set up a rival lingerie firm with Ms Bunn.
Ms Mone, OBE, a self-made entrepreneur who left school at 15 and grew up in a “single end” one bedroom flat in the east end of Glasgow, said: “I tried to buy my ex-husband out. If I could I would have stayed. I was heartbroken to leave. He just wouldn’t sell it to me. He won’t sell me my piano. I’m not allowed anything. I didn’t even take a spoon from this house.”
Ms Mone, whose Ultimo cleavage-enhancing gel-filled bras achieved worldwide success after being worn by actress Julia Roberts in the film Erin Brockovich, was given the baby grand piano for her 30th birthday but does not play.
Mr Mone has criticised his ex-wife’s comments and said the divorce papers had specifically addressed the issue of the future sale of the former marital home.
“The divorce agreement was that neither party would sell to the other. It was the family home and it wouldn’t be right for the children for either party to return to the house.”
Regarding the decision to include all fixtures and fittings in the sale, including a Sonos sound system and the 7ft marital bed and Romano lamps, Mr Mone said: “Who in their right mind would allow people to pick and choose what they want and leave spaces where things were? The house is being left intact for people to see in all its glory and what remains will divided equally.”
The interior of the house, which the Mones bought five years ago, was inspired by decor of the five-star Dorchester hotel in London which Ms Mone’s “home from home” when on business trips to London.
“Every piece of furniture was made for the house by the suppliers that make it for the Dorchester.
It was created with a team of designers with me heading them up. We spent maybe £600,000 just on furniture. It’s hardly been used. Dr Mary Brown, psychologist, formerly of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said that Ms Mone’s comments showed that she was still upset by the break-up:
“It is understandable that she would want to buy her husband out. But wanting to keep the baby grand piano shows that there’s lots of stuff going on underneath the surface. She may be saying “good, the b******* gone” but she’s still hurting.
“If she was a friend I’d tell her to speak to a counsellor. The standard advice is to start again and not hang on to things given by someone else. The only other value she might attach to it is its symbolic value of how far she’s moved up in the world through sheer hard work from a poor background.”
A spokesman for Ms Mone said he did not want to give a comment.