Linda Evangelista says Francois-Henri Pinault coldly told her to end her pregnancy after she broke the news to her flame that she was having his baby.
“He suggested she terminate the pregnancy,” attorney William Beslow said.
That was the first shot from Evangelista in what’s likely to be a contentious court battle as the iconic model tries to shake him down for child support.
Up to $46,000 per MONTH, she's seeking.
On the stand, Pinault, now married to movie star Salma Hayek, with whom he has a daughter, insisted he was “not involved in the decision” to have the child, but told Evangelista he would “recognize the baby.”
Words dripping with emotion and empathy right there.
Later, his spokesman denied categorically that Pinault ever told her to have an abortion. In fact, Pinault added, they’d only spent seven nights together.
Asked whether he believes Evangelista deliberately “took steps” to get pregnant, Pinault responded, “Well, she can answer that, but, I guess so.”
“She told me that if I didn’t want to be involved in raising the kid or stay together and be parents together, she would understand,” Pinault said.
“I told her that ... I will take my responsibility.”Asked to explain why he hadn’t paid Evangelista child support for the first years of now 5-year-old Augustin’s life, Pinault had a ready response.
“She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer,” he said.
Evangelista came dressed to impress, walking into Manhattan Family Court in beige heels, a black pleated skirt, floral blouse, pricey gold watch, and - naturally - sunglasses. She mostly avoided looking at Pinault.
Pinault said that he started dating Salma Hayek in April 2006 after Linda Evangelista told him she was pregnant with their child.
“She said she would support herself since he made it perfectly clear he had no wish to do so,” Beslow said in his opening statement.
It wasn’t until after Evangelista’s lucrative contract with L’Oreal ended in 2010 that she needed his contributions, he said.
“She is not looking to piggyback her lifestyle on Mr. Pinault,” Beslow said. “She is looking to continue the lifestyle that Augie’s had.”
Pinault is willing to support Augie, but not Evangelista, his lawyer, David Aronson, said. “This is a classic case of someone trying to bootstrap herself into disguised alimony,” he said.
When Aronson called the $46,000-a-month figure “ridiculous,” an agitated Evangelista shook her head angrily and Beslow objected, saying she hadn’t requested that amount.
“This is how a nice person gets her reputation ruined,” he said.
Aronson, however, insisted that figure was included in the list of expenses she gave to Pinault. The $552,000-a-year request included $90,000-a-year for a full-time and a part-time nanny and $175,000 for bodyguard and driver.
He said she claimed to have an annual income of $1.8 million in recent years.
Evangelista, 46, who has graced more than 600 magazine magazines during her modeling career, is said to be worth $8 million. She once famously said she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.
Pinault, 49, has even more money to burn. He is chief executive of PPR, which owns Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci and Bottega Veneta.
He owns luxury homes in Paris and Los Angeles and is heir to an $11.5 billion family estate that includes Christie’s auction house, the Château-Latour vineyard in Bordeaux, and a French soccer team.
“These people have more money than lots of people,” Aronson said. Ya think?
$46,000 a month in child support ...