Phil Ivey’s amicable divorce turning ugly

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 02, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Over the past few months the private life of one of the world’s most well-known but private players, Phil Ivey, has been receiving a lot of attention concerning his 2009 divorce from his wife and teenage sweetheart Luciaetta, which at the time seemed like non-controversy with an amicable split.

That said, after Black Friday caused Ivey to cease making his alimony payments of $180,000 per month (as per the original divorce settlement), the couple has now been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute as Luciaetta claims she was treated unfairly.

According to the original divorce settlement, Lucietta was designated to receive the $180,000 per month from Phil Ivey’s payments from Tiltware (the parent company of Full Tilt Poker) BUT, should those payments cease Phil Ivey would no longer have to pay alimony to his ex-wife. Ivey ceased making alimony payments in April 2011. Of Course, after Black Friday Full Tilt Poker has been in no position to pay anyone, let alone the close to $1 million a month the Las Vegas Review-Journal is alleging Ivey made from the company.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Luciaetta’s new legal counsel, Bruce Shapiro, claims that she was persuaded to hire her former lawyer, John Spilotro, by Phil Ivey and his attorney David Chesnoff, and that after the settlement was reached Ivey and his attorney made substantial donations to judge Bill Gonzalez’s reelection campaign –charges Ivey and his attorneys explicitly deny. Now Luciaetta is looking for Gonzalez to be disqualified from the case and for a new divorce agreement, and as is usually the case in these types of disagreements, mud is being slung.

Ivey and his legal team headed by Chesnoff fired back at the initial allegations, claiming the Luciaetta was treated more than fairly, with Phil taking on all of the couples’ debts, as well as Luciaetta receiving real estate, jewelry and a purse collection worth millions of dollars.

Now the ante has been upped as Luciaetta has filed a federal lawsuit against her former husband, Chesnoff and Spilotro for conspiracy. According to the LVRJ, the new federal lawsuit alleges legal malpractice on the part of Spilotro, claiming that Spilotro was hired for a $10,000 flat fee by Phil Ivey to represent Luciaetta, and that Spilotro “failed to safeguard the financial interests of his client.”

While Luciaetta does acknowledge that the jewelry she received is valued at $1 million, shoe also cites that Phil’s jewelry was never valued in the settlement, and that his refusal to disclose this information (and other financial details) is proof that she is being treated unfairly.

The only financial document on record is a 2008 tax return showing Phil Ivey as earning $8 million. According to her lawyer, “Luciaetta had no idea then and has no idea now where Phil’s money came from or where it went,”

Needless to say, it looks like this case will get messier before it is resolved.

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