Phil Collins may be singing the lyrics to his best-known hit these days, as he tries to evict his ex-wife and her new husband from a Miami Beach mansion.
“You can wipe off that grin / I know where you’ve been / It’s all been a pack of lies,” are some of the lyrics to “In The Air Tonight.”
Collins is trying to sell the North Bay Road property to the tune of $40 million. And his ex wants half.
In the meantime, she is blocking a real estate agent from showing the home, and has allegedly changed the alarm codes and hired armed guards, according to court documents filed in their ongoing litigation.
“Orianne’s armed occupation is interfering with the marketing, and if a sale is lost due to that, we are prepared to sue in court,” a spokesperson for Collins told The Real Deal.
In early August, Collins first attempted to get his ex-wife Orianne Cevey Collins Mejjati Bates and her new husband, Thomas Bates, to leave his home at 5800 North Bay Road. He enlisted his lawyer to send a demand letter for them to vacate the mansion by Sept 30, according to court documents.
On Aug. 24, the Bates’ lawyer responded that six weeks simply wasn’t enough time, documents show. So Collins acquiesced, offering an extended deadline of Oct. 31, so long as Orianne Bates agreed to the terms of a settlement, court records show.
Last week, Collins filed suit against the newlyweds in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, alleging unlawful detainer and forcible entry.
He also hired top agent Jill Hertzberg, of the Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker, to list the 10,769-square-foot mansion for $40 million. But the Bateses haven’t given her access to the property.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to go into the property,” Hertzberg told TRD on Friday. “I have a list of people who want to see it and get inside, but we cannot get in at this time.”
The house is still on the market, and Collins has given permission to show it, a spokesperson for the Genesis drummer said. Jennifer Lopez previously owned the home, an 11-bedroom, 10-bathroom mansion that was built in 1929 on a 1.2-acre lot. Collins paid $33 million for the house in 2015.
Hertzberg said it’s “one of the most coveted properties” in Miami Beach, which offers wide bay views of the sunset and downtown Miami, more than 180 feet of waterfront frontage and “enchanting gardens” at the entrance.
The high-end residential market has been especially active in recent months. In the third quarter, single-family home sales increased by 71 percent, year-over-year, to 171 closings in Miami Beach and the barrier islands.
Collins provided Orianne with a nearly $47 million settlement when the couple divorced in 2008, according to published reports. Orianne remarried twice since then, most recently by eloping with Bates in Las Vegas. Phil and Orianne got back together in 2016, prior to her recent marriage to Bates. (Orianne, a jewelry designer, owns Orianne Collins Jewellery and Spa in the Design District.)
According to Orianne’s response filed in the court record, she alleges Collins promised her 50 percent ownership of their marital North Bay Road residence.
Meanwhile, Orianne allegedly changed the alarm codes, covered up existing surveillance cameras, and hired armed guards to “patrol the property with openly displayed firearms,” according to Collins’ complaint. In her counterclaim, Orianne’s lawyer said she was involved with overseeing security, and had noticed the cameras weren’t functioning properly or had been tampered with.
Collins is worried that the couple will remove, hide or destroy his personal property, including his “irreparable music memorabilia” and Alamo collectibles, according to the court documents.
Orianne’s new lawyer, Richard Wolfe, told TRD that he plans to file a counterclaim response that alleges that most of the personal property, including furniture and memorabilia, is “the legal and equitable property of Orianne.”
A statement from Wolfe said that her sole motive is to stay in the home “until a fair settlement is resolved.”
“Instead of his Trumpian disinformation campaign, his hidden cameras and private investigators, perhaps Mr. Collins should clean up his own act, literally and figuratively, and honor the commitments he made to Orianne when they moved in together,” the statement reads.