Only weeks after he was cleared of groping a junior banker following a lurid court hearing, I can reveal that hedge fund tycoon Crispin Odey is to split from his wife of 30 years, Nichola Pease, citing ‘public humiliation’ over the case.
The surprise separation – after the couple staged a show of unity outside court during the stressful case – sets the stage for what could be one of the costliest divorces in recent British legal history.
Explaining the split, the 62-year-old Harrow and Oxford-educated banker, referring to Nichola, told me: ‘Public humiliation is not something any girl should take.’
‘Humiliation’: Hedge fund tycoon Crispin Odey and Nichola Pease show unity outside court earlier this year
It is a mournful end to what might have been a new chapter for the couple, whose combined worth has been estimated at £825 million by The Sunday Times Rich List.
The pair were pictured arm in arm outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in March after Mr Odey was found not guilty of indecent assault.
It had been alleged that in 1998 the financier launched himself upon the woman, then in her 20s, like ‘an octopus’ at his £7.8 million Chelsea house. But District Judge Nicholas Rimmer said there were inconsistencies in her account and told Mr Odey he could leave the court with ‘your good character intact’.
Mr Odey who made £220 million in 2016 betting against the pound as the UK voted to leave the European Union, told me that the court case had placed intolerable pressure on his marriage, which shattered from the pressure of public scrutiny.
‘I’ve been through the wars in every kind of way,’ he said. ‘I won, but there was something publicly humiliating about the case.’
Nichola, who married the Conservative Party donor in 1991 and has had three children with him, is a successful fund manager in her own right. She is chairman of Jupiter Asset Management and a descendant of the founders of Barclays.
Mr Odey, who made £220 million in 2016 betting against the pound as the UK voted to leave the European Union, told me that the case had placed intolerable pressure on his marriage
Mr Odey told me they are living apart but still on good terms.
He said: ‘There is nobody else involved. It’s essentially the sins of the past. These things are very sad.’
But the larger-than-life tycoon, who set up his fund management firm with £150 million of seed money from investor George Soros, has retained his upbeat outlook, saying he was thankful for the marriage and that ‘we’ve got three wonderful children, and we’re very lucky’.
Author and Labour peer Joan Bakewell has issued a rallying cry for vigilantes to rise up and free the streets of London from the terrible scourge of, err, party-goers.
Her call to arms is targeted not at the meaner streets of the capital, but at her chi-chi Primrose Hill neighbourhood.
Baroness Bakewell last week sent a missive to her Twitter followers declaring war on ‘weekend party-goers on Primrose Hill, including those who vandalise shops’.
After getting no joy from police, the 88-year-old demanded: ‘Time for local vigilantes – will that be legal?’ The Labour grande dame was once famous as ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’; now she sounds more like a barm cake.
Author and Labour peer Joan Bakewell’s call to arms is targeted not at the meaner streets of the capital, but at her chi-chi Primrose Hill neighbourhood
Richard’s recipe for riches
He may have won a Michelin star and cooked for the Queen, but chef Richard Corrigan admits he buys all his pans from charity shops.
Richard, whose London eateries include Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, tells me that Hampstead’s second-hand stores have plenty of posh cookware, especially Le Creuset, that’s almost as good as new because they are ‘pots for middle-class people who hang them up and never use them.
I’m not paying £500 for a pot, I can get them for a fraction of that. And I wash them with only water.’ Crikey, Richard, after saving all that money, you can surely afford a bottle of Fairy Liquid!