A SCOTTISH businessman accused of manipulating his financial affairs so as to “do down” his estranged wife has told a High Court judge he suffered a “crash”.
Scot Young, 51, told Mr Justice Moor he had been very successful and might be again – but he had suffered a “financial collapse”.
He was giving evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London, where he and his estranged wife Michelle, 49, are fighting over money.
Mrs Young says her estranged husband, who was born in Dundee, is worth “a few billion at least” and that “there was a vast fortune hidden”.
She claims she is a victim of “fraud”, because Mr Young had manipulated his affairs so as to “do her down”, and she wants her fair share. Mr Young disputes her claims. He says he is penniless and bankrupt, a victim of financial meltdown and has debts totalling £28 million.
Mr Justice Moor has heard the Youngs, who both live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006 after starting a relationship in 1989.
Mr Young said he had suffered a “crash”, a “financial collapse”.
“I am basically not the man I was,” he said. “I have been very successful in the past. I would like to think that I could be successful in the future.”
He added: “I have got nothing to hide.”
Mr Young did not give his address but indicated that he lived in the West End of London with his current partner, Noelle Reno. He said the rent on their apartment was about £4,000 a month and was paid for by a “very good friend”.
A lawyer representing Mrs Young suggested her estranged husband could live in a cheaper apartment in order to ensure he had money to give to his wife.
“I don’t speak to my wife,” Mr Young said. “The people who give me money would certainly not give me money to give to my wife after what she has done in the press by selling stories, inaccurate stories. A lot of people are very unhappy with my wife.”
Mrs Young has previously told how she wants her fair share and would settle for £300m plus legal expenses.
She says she wants a £25m house and to live in Belgravia, central London.
The businessman’s former solicitor, Stanley Beller, has previously told the trial that Mr Young had more than 40 watches in a collection worth around £2m.
The trial, which began on 31 October, continues and is expected to end later this month.