Judge awards $6 billion worth of art to ex-wife

“I love you, and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you,” Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison wrote in a letter he sent his soon-to-be ex-wife while they were in court. “I hope someday soon…

Judge awards $6 billion worth of art to ex-wife

“I love you, and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you,” Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison wrote in a letter he sent his soon-to-be ex-wife while they were in court. “I hope someday soon you will understand our love, why I have spent the last 28 years of my life, and $6 billion of my fortune, believing we were meant to be together.”

This was the final chapter in the relationship between the two wealthiest people in the country: $6 billion, an asset worth about 18 percent of their combined wealth.

On Monday, a judge awarded 74 paintings to Colette Lenoir, who was married to Ellison from 1977 to 2000. She had requested $890 million, including $988,000 in attorney’s fees. Lenoir’s lawyers called the verdict “devastating” in a statement to Forbes. Her main argument against Ellison was his philanthropy, saying he used his vast wealth to influence the public, including his 2003 purchase of the California Academy of Sciences for $500 million. In October, Bloomberg reported that Forbes magazine would put Ellison’s wealth at $43 billion, according to the Corzine-Miller report.

The divorce settlement involves a whole series of Ellison’s sculptures and other art works, paintings and drawings, other papers, and the couple’s “very extensive art collection.” It stretches across 142 pages, and is described in great detail by Forbes.

It includes oil paintings and sculptures by California Renaissance artist John Singer Sargent, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, Edvard Munch, Ed Ruscha, Elizabeth Peyton, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Aileen Mehle, Willem de Kooning, Francesco Clemente, Warhol and Warhol.

Other items include a rare Second Empire gold coin, John F Kennedy’s lunch box and a collection of Robert F. Kennedy memorabilia.

“Here, in this court, and in life, you will not win, and you will never win. What you will win, however, is the gift of a higher respect for all of humanity, and for all of our spirit. Accepting your fate, I know that no matter what happens, you will not regret your lifetime of service to the rest of us,” Ellison wrote.

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