A wealthy couple who are fighting over whether they will use the English or European Union (EU) Courts to pursue their divorce has been described as “staging a Brexit battle of their own” by the Evening Standard.
According to reports, Indian-born millionaire John Pyres is fighting a Judge’s decision for his divorce from British-born Una Kelly to take place in Britain as opposed to the EU, amid concerns that the couple has spent most of their time together overseas.
The duo, who met while both working for the European Commission (EC) in Brussels in the 1990s, were married in Italy in 2005 and, over the course of their lengthy relationship, only spent a year living together in the UK, Mr Pyres claims.
The 73-year-old, who shared a £2.5 million home in Fulham with 44-year-old Una Kelly, has approached the Court of Appeal arguing that not only was their time spent together in the UK short, but that Ms Kelly never considered Britain “her permanent home,” having moved to Serbia last year after spending time in Italy, Belgium and various other countries.
Most recently, the couple shared a home together in Bosnia – which is where Mr Pyres believes the divorce proceedings should take place.
However, Ms Kelly claims that she has “a passion for England,” having recently written a thesis on English country houses and planning on moving back to the UK when she eventually retires.
She adds that, contrary to her husband’s comments about her, she considers the Fulham property to be her one and only true home, she has a GP in the UK and continues to pay UK taxes.
Regardless of where the eventual divorce battle takes place, it is thought that the duo will fight over their abundant jointly-owned assets, which include their multi-million pound home in the UK, as well as other properties in Italy and Brussels.
For the time being, Court of Appeal Judges have reserved their decision on the matter until a later date.