John Paulson is seeking to shut down his wife Jenica’s lawsuit accusing him of shielding billions of dollars in assets from their divorce, claiming she’s the one who’s engaged in a “selfish money grab.”

Lawyers for Paulson, 66, will appear in court Thursday to urge a New York judge to dismiss his wife’s suit. In court filings, they say that Jenica Paulson knew all along about trusts she claims he used to hide assets because they were included in nearly two decades of joint tax returns that she signed.

Jenica and John Paulson (Bloomberg)

“The joint tax returns were authorized by Mrs. Paulson and identified the trusts by name,” the Paulson & Co. founder said in court documents, “therefore refuting any claim the trusts were ‘secretly’ created to deceive Mrs. Paulson or to deprive her of equitable distribution on what might otherwise have been a marital asset.”

Matrimonial proceedings in New York state are mostly confidential, so the case provides a rare public glimpse into a contentious divorce that is likely to be expensive and lengthy given the assets at stake. John Paulson has a net worth of $4.6 billion, and the family has a bountiful portfolio of real estate investments, including an Aspen, Colorado, ranch formerly owned by a Saudi prince and a estate in the Hamptons.

Paulson filed for divorce from his wife of 21 years in September 2021 in New York state court in Long Island. Her July suit seeking at least $1 billion in damages claimed he used a group of “hand-picked advisors” to establish three irrevocable trusts to ensure she didn’t get her share of assets.

Jenica Paulson’s suit cast her as a loyal wife who “dutifully and thoughtfully” cultivated her husband’s business and social relationships while relying on him to handle the family’s finances. He took advantage of her trust, she claims, by “implementing a plan, over a nine-year period, to insulate assets acquired during the course of their marriage from Mrs. Paulson’s reach and thereby to deprive her of her fair and equitable share.”

Allowing the trusts to stand would “give license to wealthy spouses to jettison the requirements of financial fairness and spousal disclosure long enshrined in law,” Jenica Paulson argues in her suit.

John Paulson denied trying to deceive his wife, noting that the two were happily married when the trusts were created.

“Such evasion could not be possibly be true given that the trusts all were created during an intact and thriving marriage that witnessed for decades Mrs. Paulson execute tax returns referencing the trusts,” he claimed in court filings.

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