The heir of the Getty oil fortune is embroiled in a bitter divorce with his wife, who alleges he abused her to the point of breaking her arm and locked her in their multi-million dollar Los Angeles mansion for hours on Christmas Eve.
The court documents in the long running divorce pits Jacqueline Getty, 44, against Peter Getty, 45, her husband of nearly nine years. The documents describe a life of luxury – private jets and couture clothing galore – until the marriage hit bottom in June 2008.
The divorce proceedings, which began in January, are still underway in the Los Angeles Superior Court. Jacqueline Getty – who is known as Jacqui – is requesting Peter Getty pay $1 million a month spousal support and that the court order him to stay 100 feet away from her.
The written testimony by Jacqui Getty also requests that the court order her soon-to-be former husband to pay her enough money that would "allow her to live a reasonable and comfortable lifestyle that is at or close to the lifestyle" that the couple enjoyed when they were married.
She has gotten used to a very comfortable lifestyle.
Her description of the beginning of her relationship with Peter Getty includes being a member of what she calls "one of the wealthiest and most socially prominent families in the United States."
Peter Getty's father, Gordon Peter Getty, annually makes it on to the Forbes 400 list of the nation's richest people every year, and topped it the first year it was compiled. His approximate net worth is about $2 billion, thanks to the 1986 sale of Getty to Texaco and several other lucrative investments, according to the magazine.
Extravagant Getty Divorce is 'Befitting a Getty'
"We had a lifestyle that I am certain is beyond what most people could imagine or will ever be able to enjoy but, as I was told, that was 'just the way it is' when your name is Getty," the unhappy wife wrote in court documents.
Jacqui Getty describes how in June 1999, just over a year before she got married, her future-mother-in-law, Ann Getty, flew her and a few of her friends on a private jet to Paris on two separate occasions. During the trips Ann Getty purchased "about $600,000 of clothing and accessories" for Jacqui so that she would "be dressed in a manner 'befitting a Getty.'"
Her wedding dress cost $100,000, and the ceremony featured The San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra and was covered by Vogue Magazine, according to the documents.
The couple dined at fine restaurants, and stayed in only the best hotels while away on vacation. According to Jacqui Getty, her husband wouldn't bother to bring luggage when he traveled, opting instead to "purchase all new articles of clothing" upon arrival.
The home they shared – known as Sherman House – boasted six bedrooms, a ball room, an atrium and a $1 million bed for Jacqui's daughter, Gia. Gia, who is now 23, is the daughter of Gian-Carlo Coppola, who died before she was born, and is the granddaughter of famed film director Francis Ford Coppola.
The couple's master bedroom took up one full floor of the four-story home.
But in 2005, Jacqui Getty alleges that her fabulous life turned into a nightmare when she says Peter Getty "started being verbally and emotionally abusive."
During on conversation in 2008, she claims in court papers that Peter Getty got so angry that he struck her arm and broke it.
"At about the same time that Peter broke my arm and it was becoming clear that our marriage would probably not survive, he told me 'I could kill you and get away with it,'" according to the court documents.
Jacqui Getty claims that her husband refused to allow her to go to Christmas Eve dinner at her in-laws home in 2008, locking her in their mansion for "approximately six hours."
Jacqui Getty Seeking $1 Million a Month Support
Peter Getty initially agreed to $100,000 in monthly support when the couple separated, but he has stopped those payments, the documents claim.
In addition to a reported $1 million a month in financial support for her personal life, Jacqui Getty is also requesting $350,000 for attorney's fees and $100,000 for her accountants.
Both Jacqui and Peter Getty are represented by the most high-profile divorce attorneys money can buy. Her attorney, Stephen Kolodny, did not immediately respond to messages left for comment. Nor did Peter Getty's attorney Laura Wasser, perhaps best known for her representation of pop star Britney Spears in a similarly bitter divorce case.