Linda Evangelista Settles Child Custody Case

Supermodel settles case with former lover Francois-Henri Pinault.

ByABC News
May 7, 2012, 2:38 PM

May 7, 2012— -- Supermodel Linda Evangelista, 46, has reached a settlement in her child custody case against her son's father, French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, ABC News has learned.

Court was adjourned Monday afternoon after less than 20 minutes, during which attorneys for both sides met in the judge's chambers. No details of the settlement were announced, but the parties are expected to be called back to court tomorrow to approve details of the settlement in writing.

Separately, the New York Post reported that Evangelista and Pinault reached the agreement by telephone earlier this morning.

Evangelista was reportedly asking for upward of $46,000 in monthly expenses for their 5-year-old son Augustin (also known as Augie), and though she denied such a figure in court last Thursday, no additional figure has been floated.

The settlement came as media from around the world flocked to Manhattan Family Court to hear the supermodel's second day of testimony. Evangelista had been expected to testify about Pinault's initial reluctance that she have the child. Her defense team had earlier claimed that Pinault asked her to terminate her pregnancy.

Evangelista appeared in court Monday wearing a spring floral-print knee-length dress and shiny high-heeled pump, her hair pulled partially back with a barrette. She occasionally smiled in conversation with her blonde female attorney, while Pinault, 49, appeared somber and serious in a dark blue suit.

After the judge and both lead attorneys returned and the judge announced that they had reached a settlement, Evangelista quickly glanced at Pinault. As they stood outside the courtroom after the proceeding, they appeared deep in conversation, speaking in low voices and with no obvious emotion -- both looking serious yet fairly relaxed.

Though Pinault had known he was Augie's father since January 2007, he did not recognize Augie as his son until 2009 after his now wife, actress Salma Hayek, had given birth to their daughter Valentina. When asked the reason for his clandestineness, Pinault admitted that he had been more concerned with Valentina at the time. They had thought for five months that Valentina had Down's Syndrome and Pinault professed in court that "we almost lost the baby."

Evangelista had been riled for making demands, including 24-hour child care and a bodyguard for Augie, with critics questioning if these expenses were not just a means to gain funds for herself under the guise of child support.

"Most of the expenses [in Evangelista's list of $46,000-a-month in child care expenses] do not relate to Augie but they relate to Ms. Evangelista," David Aronson, Pinault's attorney, said in opening statements last Friday.

Evangelista's attorney William Beslow shot down that argument in court, citing legal documents created for Valentina that says any legal guardian can materially benefit from the provisions of her trust, saying that it's hypocritical not to award Evangelista child support just because she may thusly benefit from it.

Beslow sought to shoot holes in Pinault's argument that he treats Augie as well as he treats his other three children. Beslow noted that Pinault spent 260,000 euros on gifts in 2010. Only two of those gifts were for Augie, he noted last Friday, one of which Pinault cited as being from FAO Schwartz, "a piano thing," he said.