A Scottish businessman accused of ‘manipulating his financial affairs so as to “do down” his estranged wife offered a £300 million settlement four years ago, a High Court judge heard today.
But property dealer Scot Young, 51, told Mr Justice Moor that his offer to estranged wife Michelle, 49, was “flippant” and “ridiculous”.
He said he had been “drinking heavily the night before” and was ashamed to say that he had made it.
Mr and Mrs Young are fighting over money at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
Mrs Young says Dundee born Mr Young is worth “a few billion at least” and claims “there was a vast fortune hidden”.
She says she is a victim of “fraud” because Mr Young has manipulated his affairs so as to do her down - and wants her fair share.
Mr Young disputes Mrs Young’s claims.
He says he is penniless and bankrupt and has debts which add up to £28 million.
Details of the August 2009 offer emerged in a written “opening note” that Mr Young, who is representing himself at the hearing, had prepared.
Mr Justice Moor said journalists could see the note - although Mr Young said he would “rather they didn’t”.
“(Mrs Young) asked for £300 million (her offer starting at £1 billion),” said Mr Young in the note.
“(I am) ashamed to say, (I) stated that if Ronald Regan (sic) became the next US president (he was already dead), Jeremy Beadle (of You’ve Been Framed), walked through the door and the Tooth Fairy arrived, she could have the money.”
He added: “(I apologise) for being so flippant... (Mrs Young’s) suggestion was so ridiculous that (I) thought (I) would make it even more ridiculous.”
Mr Justice Moor said a lawyer’s note of the meeting showed that Mr Young had made repeated references to the 1985 film Brewster’s Millions, which starred Richard Pryor and John Candy.
“I was all over the place,” Mr Young told the judge when questioned. “I had been drinking heavily the night before.”
Mr Young added: “I was trying to say how ridiculous the situation was. I had no money and that was it.”