Rocker Phil Collins is expected to be called to testify in an upcoming trial in Miami where his ex-wife, with whom he patched things up and currently lives, will be trying to save her fortune from her latest soon-to-be ex-husband.
The five-day trial scheduled to start April 24 is a part of ex-wife Orianne Mejjati’s current divorce from Miami developer Charles Fouad Mejjati.
The case has become one of the hardest fought battles in any South Florida court, one where half a dozen lawyers file an average of about two motions and other entries per day.
The trial is designed only to validate, or declare null and void, a post-nuptial agreement that Orianne and Charles signed in May 2015 – about the time Collins moved to be near Orianne.
Rocker Phil Collins is expected to be called to testify in an upcoming trial in Miami where his ex-wife, with whom he patched things up and currently lives, will be trying to save her fortune from her latest soon-to-be ex-husband
The five-day trial scheduled to start April 24 is a part of ex-wife Orianne Mejjati’s current divorce from Miami developer Charles Fouad Mejjati
Charles, 47, and Orianne, 43, have a child together: a six-year-old boy named Andrea who’s spending part of the time with Charles, and part of the time with Orianne and 66-year-old Collins in his waterfront mansion two miles down the road.
Under the agreement in question, Orianne would be forced to turn over her $10 million Miami Beach mansion to Charles, in addition to giving him half the value of her property near Geneva, Switzerland. It has been on the market for $62 million.
But that’s not the end of it.
‘And she would have to pay him child support,’ a legal source familiar with the case said. ‘Their post-nupt is so one-sided that she wouldn’t have much left once it’s over.’
Ultimately, the legal war that’s about to be played out in the downtown Miami courthouse is really over the former Genesis drummer’s cash.
Orianne’s fortune comes from her divorce from the musician in 2008.
The mother of two of Collins’ children received $46.76 million once her split from Collins became final, a then-record for England that topped the Paul McCartney-Heather Mills split by $2 million.
Ultimately, the legal war that’s about to be played out in the downtown Miami courthouse is really over the former Genesis drummer’s cash. The mother of two of Collins’ children received $46.76 million once her split from Collins became final. Pictured, the couple together in 1996
But now that Orianne stands to lose a large portion of it, Collins has been cooperating with the court system.
He was grilled by lawyers for several hours in January on what he knew about Orianne’s mental state when she signed the post-nuptial agreement.
Although the transcript and video have not been published by the court, the source said Collins did raise issues about his ex-wife’s mental condition at the time.
Orianne and her attorneys have argued that Charles took advantage of her heavy use of pain killers after crippling spinal surgery to have her sign something she didn’t realize was against her interest.
Court papers show Orianne now believes her condition at the time made her legally incompetent to sign anything and says she was ‘coerced’ and ‘bullied.’
According to court records, Charles allegedly told her there’d be ‘hell to pay’ if she didn’t sign.
Charles’ side claims Orianne was properly represented by a lawyer, and he has been playing hard ball.
And now that Orianne stands to lose a large portion of her fortune, Collins has been cooperating with the court system
‘The husband threatened that he would disclose and make public allegations about the wife,’ Orianne’s original divorce petition reads.
‘That would cause the wife great personal, professional and social embarrassment, humiliation and upset and would, the husband threatened, also result in the wife losing custody of her child.’
According to property records, Orianne moved to Miami Beach in 2012 after she paid $8.4 million for the home in the up-scale Sunset Isles area. Mejjati currently lives there and wants to keep the mansion.
In 2015, the singer of ‘Against All Odds’ and ‘In The Air Tonight’ bought fellow singer Jennifer Lopez’s old house a few miles away for a whopping $33 million.
Collins then paid Mejjati, a builder by trade, to make substantial alterations to the property where Lopez broke up with longtime love Ben Affleck in 2004.
Within months, Orianne had left Mejjati behind in her place and moved in with Collins.
‘After this trial and the decision is handed down by the judge,’ the source added, ‘the divorce should be made final fairly quickly. Then, Orianne will be free to marry Collins again.’
Lawyers from both camps declined comment when reached via phone and email.