Don’t let the extravagant birthday cake and the yacht jaunts fool you: Harry Macklowe says he’s broke.
The developer has listed his personal net worth as negative $400 million, but his soon-to-be ex-wife Linda says that his debts are due to the fact that he hasn’t paid taxes since the Reagan administration.
Linda Macklowe took the stand Wednesday morning for the first day of the couple’s billion-dollar divorce trial, where according to the New York Post, she said her husband hasn’t paid taxes since 1983.
Her attorney, John Teitler, argued that despite Macklowe’s claims of illiquidity, he’s been “paying [a French girlfriend’s] expenses, providing her with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash as well as lavish gifts– and that’s just what we know about.”
Much of his negative net worth can be attributed to deferred capital gains taxes related to the 2008 sale of the General Motors building for $2.9 billion. Teitler told the newspaper “these types of gains are never actually realized by real estate developers.”
Macklowe’s attorney, Peter Bronstein, said Teitler’s comments were “detached from reality” and that the deferred taxes represent a real liability.
“There’s no reason why half the marital assets should be taken by the wife and the husband should be left with all the liabilities,” he told the Post.
Harry and Linda were married for 58 years. In April, the Post reported that Macklowe was talking about paying Linda $1 billion – half of his $2 billion fortune – to end the divorce case. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel