Bruce Ratner is getting under his soon-to-be ex-wife’s skin.
Ratner’s estranged wife, plastic surgeon Pamela Lipkin, says the Forest City Ratner chairman is engaging in divorce-related “gamesmanship” by trying to boot her from the office where she practises, according to a lawsuit she filed in State Supreme Court Monday.
Robert Cohen, an attorney for Ratner, called the suit “just another attempt by Dr. Lipkin to get around a rock-solid prenup that she has already agreed is valid and enforceable.”
Lipkin claims she transferred her ownership interest in the property, at 128 East 62nd Street, to Ratner , trusting that she would be allowed to continue operating her clinic there for as long as she wanted.
She says Ratner helped her to transfer her ownership shares in a co-op unit at 905 Fifth Avenue, where she previously worked, to the 62nd Street building, in 2008, under a structure that had certain tax benefits. She went on to spend $600,000 bringing it up to code as a medical facility, she claims in court papers.
But when in 2009, he asked her to exchange her interest in the building for another investment property, this time in California, she went along with it, since he assured her that her clinic could stay put.
“Having been together for 19 years, Lipkin had no cause to doubt her husband – she trusted him implicitly and proceeded to build her practice and livelihood with confidence under the construct he created,” according to the lawsuit.
Now, he’s reneging on that agreement, she says.
“Ratner knows full well what he agreed to with Lipkin, but in an effort to gain the upper hand in divorce negotiations and devastate Lipkin, he has chosen to renege on his promises,” the complaint states.
A spokesperson for Lipkin wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Lipkin filed for divorce from Ratner in July. She specializes in nose jobs and has appeared on the likes of “Good Morning America” and “ABC News” to discuss plastic surgery.
Ratner stepped down from the board of Forest City Ratner’s parent company, Forest City Realty Trust, at the end of last year, bowing to pressure from activist investors to restructure the firm’s board. He continues to serve as executive chairman of Forest City Ratner, the trust’s New York division.