Last updated: 12 January, 2012

Aga Khan fights 60 million euro divorce settlement

Racehorse billionaire and Islamic spiritual leader the Aga Khan is contesting a divorce settlement that awarded his ex-wife a record 60 million euros ($77 million), a French judicial source said.

Paris-based Prince Karim, the 75-year-old head of the 15 million-strong Ismaili Muslim community, divorced his second wife, German singer Gabriele Thyssen, in 2004 and a French court awarded her the sum in September.

But he has now appealed the settlement to France’s Court of Cassation, the country’s highest court, the judicial source told AFP.

Thyssen, who had married the Aga Khan in 2000, had won the settlement in an appeal court after an initial ruling awarded her only 12 million euros. She had been demanding a 200 million euro settlement.

The Aga Khan’s fortune is estimated at 10 billion euros and he is well-known for his thoroughbred racing and breeding operations.

During the divorce case, French judges had difficulty estimating his wealth as he enjoys a rare fiscal privilege that allows him to pay taxes in Switzerland despite living in France.