Vanity Upon Vanity: How New York Socialite Went From Billions To Zero

Jocelyn Wildenstein was a notable New York socialite at one point in her life, rubbing shoulders with prominent and influential persons such as the Trump family.

When she divorced her millionaire art dealer husband, Alec Wildenstein, in 1999, she received one of the most costly divorce settlements in history. Wildenstein gave her $2.5 billion, plus an additional $100 million per year for the next 13 years.

One would expect that the former Mrs Wildenstein would still be living nicely more than two decades later, but this is far from the case. She is now bankrupt as a result of years of excessive spending, and she relies on government assistance to get by.

“I am unemployed, and Social Security is my only source of income.” In order to cover my ongoing bills, I frequently turn to friends and family,” she added in her affidavit.

Wildenstein declared bankruptcy in 2018, owing millions to lawyers and a slew of creditors.

Wildenstein allegedly spent $1 million (almost R14 million) PER MONTH, including nearly R72 000 on her phone bill.

She has, however, claimed that her financial problems are the product of overspending, claiming that they are the result of issues with the trust she received during her divorce. Wildenstein said in an interview with The New York Post that a Diego Velázquez picture that turned out to be a counterfeit, as well as a Cézanne painting that was valued at less than expected, “assured” her faith.

Plastic surgery is another item Jocelyn Wildenstein is said to have spent her money on (she denies this, but the proof is clearly visible). She is claimed to have undergone a number of surgeries that appear to explain her feline traits, earning her the moniker “cat woman.”

Wildenstein claims that her face is shaped the way it is due to her Swiss ancestry.

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