Lifestyles of the rich and obnoxious

According to Lionel Richie’s Mrs. needs a lot of cash.

The details of the couple’s split became public this week with the leaked publication of Mrs Richie’s formal court petition insisting that she be maintained in the manner to which she became accustomed during her 20-year relationship with Richie, seven years of which she was his wife.

The document makes for intriguing reading, not least for the glimpse it offers into the materialistic proclivities of the Richie household. “The respondent and I had an extremely lavish lifestyle,” Mrs Richie writes. “We could comfortably afford to spend unlimited sums on everything and anything we chose.” And she isn’t joking.

Detailing her expenditure, she notes: “I spend in excess of $50,000 (£27,000) a month for my own personal services, entertainment and shopping.” This includes $3,000 on dermatology, $600 on hair, $250 on nails, $150 on electrolysis, $1,000 on laser hair removal, $450 on facials, $500 for a personal trainer, $600 for Pilates and $600 on massages; up to $15,000 on clothes, shoes and handbags, plus $5000 on jewellery; up to $1000 on “computer lessons”, $600 on therapy and a similar amount on vitamins and health supplements. She also spends at least $20,000 a year on plastic surgery. And she adds, without a hint of irony: “These numbers are conservative estimates.”

Clearly, this is a woman with one hell of a lifestyle, one she has absolutely no intention of compromising following her split from Richie in October. “I know that he earns in excess of $300,000 a month, because we have always comfortably spent at least that in any given month,” she writes, pointing to his album sales, his lucrative personal appearances and the imminent release of his new album, Just For You.

She points out that she gave up her business as a clothing designer to stay at home with the children, and that revenue from the house she lived in before moving in with Richie in the early 1990s went straight into his bank account.

She estimates that the value of their home, the original Guggenheim estate in Los Angeles, at $40m and claims credit for finding it, buying it and decorating it. The 18,000 square feet home include seven bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a music room with a grand piano, a billiards room, a wine room, a gym, a home cinema, a recording studio and a “safe room” – also known, thanks to the recent Hollywood movie, as a “panic room”. She says that it costs between $35,000 and $45,000 per month to pay the salaries and incidental expenses of a house manager, head housekeeper, three subordinate housekeepers and other staff.

That is not to mention the regular holidays in New York, Colorado, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Europe, the fleet of vehicles in the garage (she drives a Porsche and a Range Rover) or the multiple expenses connected to the children, Miles, nine, and Sofia, five. Mrs Richie claims she spends $1,000 a month alone on birthday presents for her daughter’s friends. Miles attends a boarding school in Colorado while Sofia keeps busy at home with school, piano lessons, computer lessons, art and dance classes. Her mother adds: “I plan to begin sending Sofia to a therapist which I anticipate will cost at least $400 a month.”

Link via Dave Barry.