BY MICHAEL SNEED
It’s going to be a billionaire brawl.
In a tandem divorce tango Thursday, billionaire hedge fund czar Ken Griffin and his estranged wife, Anne Dias Griffin, filed counter-petitions against each other in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
◆ Translation: The kid gloves are off and the boxing gloves are on in the divorce of Chicago’s wealthiest couple.
◆ To wit: In a response filed Thursday afternoon to a counter-divorce petition submitted last month by his estranged wife Anne, Ken Griffin rejects his wife’s claim to sole custody of their three children, ages 2, 3, and 6; objects to her plans to move them from Chicago to New York; and contends she was given $25 million upon saying “I do” in their prenuptial agreement.
But within minutes of Griffin’s filing, Dias Griffin brandished her her own legal sword: A petition asking a judge to issue an temporary restraining order against her husband for exclusive use of their marital residence, on three floors at 800 N. Michigan Ave.. She also asked for access to the family homes across the country and for temporary support from her husband to continue paying the bills.
In the court document, Dias Griffin alleges her husband threatened her, saying that if she did not drop her claims he would “crush her on the prenup” and “destroy” her.
The couple has homes in New York, Hawaii, Colorado and Miami, which Griffin has blocked his estranged wife from accessing and said she would be “physically restricted” if she tried to enter, according to the filing.
She also alleges that he fired or removed employees who worked exclusively for her and her children, dissolved the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation without discussion, and told her on her birthday that he would be terminating her credit card.
Dias Griffin, a brainy, beautiful Ivy League-educated money manager, entrepreneur and managing partner of Aragon Global Management, also claims her husband told her that she should pay for any costs associated with their marital home and their children and he would reimburse those costs he deemed “reasonable,” according to the filing.
Ken Griffin’s filing Thursday also provided a peek into the rarified world of the super rich — by not only revealing his wife was entitled to $25 million via the pre-nup the day they were married — but also that she got $1 million for every year of the marriage. Combined with those additional payments, that means she received more than $35 million.
His petition also states his wife’s net worth exceeded $50 million over the course of the marriage.
A spokesman for Dias Griffin told Sneed Thursday: “Anne and her attorneys remain focused on resolving this unfortunate situation in a manner that is in the best interests of the Griffins’ three children.
“She stands by her response to the divorce proceedings filed by Mr. Griffin and earnestly hopes this matter can be resolved outside of court, but Mr. Griffin’s actions are making that increasingly unlikely.”
◆ Backshot: In an explosive response to the “surprise” divorce filing from her husband in late July, Dias Griffin filed a petition in Cook County court on Sept. 2 demanding the couple’s premarital agreement be dissolved because it was signed under duress.
In response on Thursday, Griffin claimed his wife retained three different law firms to help negotiate the prenup and knew well before their engagement that he required her to sign one.
Dias Griffin also claimed Ken Griffin has shown “little interest” in their children; that he left their family home in 2012 when she was pregnant with their third child — and that he has never been part of their children’s care.
In his court petition Thursday, Griffin asserts the picture his estranged wife paints of his relationship with the children is false, saying he has been involved in “decisions relating to the children’s medical care, education, and religious upbringing.”
He describes himself as “a loving and devoted father who has been deeply, emotionally, and intimately involved in his Children’s lives, including during periods of separation when he did not reside in the marital residence.”
Griffin also contends he participates in their daily routines, like bed times; engages in “playtime,” attends parent-teacher conferences and other school activities; and takes them on vacations, day trips and playdates, according to the filing.
In response to his estranged wife’s claims he did not want to see his children or bring them to his home overnight, Griffin claims Anne Dias Griffin blocked him from taking the children to his home, scuttled his plans to travel with them and “frustrated” his visits to their home.