Russian Heiress Ekaterina Rybolovleva: a pawn in her parents’ miserable marriage

Divorce documents filed by Elana Rybolovlev alleges a series of wrongdoings by Dmitry.

Ekaterina, better known as “Katia,” holds the record for most-expensive residential real-estate purchase in New York City at 15 Central Park West. She was born in Russia and raised in the US, Switzerland, France and Monaco.

Katia is the daughter of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. She grew up with multiple private jets, yachts, villas in five countries, a staff of servants.

The heiress’ family is worth an estimated $9.5 billion, according to Forbes.

The revelations of the life of a Russian tycoon and his family are detailed in Elena Rybolovleva’s 2008 bombshell divorce filing against her husband, who she claims cheated on her constantly with women young enough to be his daughters according to The New York Post.

The marriage hit rock bottom in December 2008, when Dmitry demanded that his wife sign a surety bond for $45 million, which she refused to do.

The papers, filed in Geneva and Palm Beach, detail how the couple’s older daughter, Katia, was manipulated by her father and bribed with lavish gifts to deceive her mother and eventually suffered a nervous breakdown because of the familial stress.

The purchase of 15 CPW Penthouse could be another example of Dmitry’s manipulations. Some speculate that Katia is nothing but a straw buyer for her billionaire father, who is attempting to hide assets from his wife.

Katia was born in Russia in 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, which would allow her father to become one of the wealthiest men in the country

In the late ’80s, Dmitry was a medical student of modest means at Perm Medical Institute, where he met his future wife, Elena, a fellow student.

Katia has kept a surprisingly low profile on any social scene and has immersed herself in the world of horses and the show-jumping circuit.

Since 2009, Katia has found her place riding as a show jumper with the Global Champions Tour. Her winnings over the past three years total just $14,135.

She has three horses, Lucky the Man, Obelix du Thot and Uropo, and is an “equestrian sports ambassador” to ERY Management.

Katia’s social world includes fellow riders like Charlotte Casiraghi, fourth in line to the throne in Monaco, and professionals like Kevin Staut, who was her partner in the costume class at the Gucci Masters in Paris.

In his wife’s divorce filing contains an outline of unbelievable holdings, including an artwork and furniture collection valued between $480 million and $800 million; a $138 million property in Gstaad; a $24 million property in Paris; about $50 million of real-estate holdings in Moscow; a tax-shelter property in Cyprus, and a $95 million Maison L’Amitie in Palm Beach purchased from Donald Trump.

Trump told The New York Post he was delighted when Dmitry plunked down the full $95 million asking price for 515 N County Rd Palm Beach, which Trump had purchased for $41 million in 2004. “I didn’t do much to the house,” Trump said. “I just painted it.”

Rybolovlev also owned a $95 million jet, three Mercedes, one Bentley and one Rolls-Royce and kept bank accounts in Geneva, Singapore and London. The family had offshore holdings in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Jersey Islands.

Katia was just 4 months old the first time she became a pawn between her feuding parents. In 1989, her mother, Elena, took her to live with her grandmother in Perm, away from her father.

Acting out of rage, Dmitry tried to break into the grandmother’s apartment and flee with Katia, according to court papers. Elena and the grandmother had to physically fend him off to protect the girl.

In 1993, the newly wealthy family feared for their safety in Russia. Katia was the subject of kidnapping and death threats, forcing the family to flee to the US, where they lived for a few months. They also sought refuge in Switzerland.

When Katia was 7, her father was arrested on the suspicion of planning the murder of Eugenia Panteleimon, a Russian business associate. He served an 11-month jail sentence.

Elena and Katia lived alone in Switzerland with a staff that included a butler, cook, gardener, chauffeur, two cleaning ladies and a nanny. They were prohibited from visiting Dmitry in prison because the trip to Russia was considered too dangerous.

Elena even hired private security to protect her daughter until Dmitry was found not guilty and released from prison.

It was in 2000, around the time Elena became pregnant with her second child, that Dmitry started taking long vacations without his family and with his mistresses.

By the time second child Anna was born, Dmitry had fallen victim to his own raging libido and began leading a double life, one part family man, one part wealthy bachelor, the court papers allege.

In 2008, Dmitry took a vacation on his yacht off Croatia with “young girls whose passports said they were born in 1988 and 1989 but they looked much younger in photographs that were taken on this occasion,” according to court papers. They partied on his yacht “My Anna,” named after his daughter.

Katia knew about her father’s philandering ways. He confided in his daughter that he loved his family but that his sex drive was beyond his control. And he cajoled her to keep his mistresses a secret from her mother, offering her a $1.5 million horse and a $500,000 car for her discretion, according to court papers.

When Elena finally discovered her husband’s double life and confronted him about his affairs, he didn’t deny it. When she said she worried about contracting a sexually transmitted disease, Dmitry told her the girls that vacationed with him on his yacht were all virgins and that he put them through medical tests.

When her mother planned a surprise party in Moscow for Dmitry’s 40th birthday, Katia felt compelled to warn her father, presumably to avoid any embarrassing revelations when he arrived. The stress put her into a “serious nervous depression,” according to court papers. When her mother finally discovered her husband’s infidelities, Katia felt an enormous relief that she no longer had to be party to his deceptions.

Dmitry told his family that because of the financial crisis, they had been wiped out and would not have enough to eat. He fired their entire staff, save for one nanny, and told his wife he was cutting her allowance down from $240,000 a month to about $27,000 a month.

While he was downsizing his family, he was showering his mistresses with lavish gifts from Chanel, Tod’s, Christian Louboutin and Hermès, according to the court filing.

The couple is currently separated. But because they never signed a pre-nup, Dmitry steadfastly refuses to divorce his wife for fear of losing half his fortune.

In the divorce papers, Elena cites Katia’s traumatic childhood as reason to be granted full custody of her younger daughter.

RELATED TOPIC: Ekaterina Rybolovlev Breaks Real Estate Record $88 Mill 15 Central Park West


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