Bethenny Frankel 'Pleased' After Court Victory Removing $12,000-a-Month Spousal Support for Ex Jason Hoppy
The couple split in 2012
The amount of money Bethenny Frankel is paying her soon-to-be ex-husband Jason Hoppy has dropped by roughly $12,000 a month after a court win Tuesday, PEOPLE has confirmed. The court also ruled that a trust agreement granting joint ownership of their Tribeca apartment was invalid.
“Bethenny is particularly pleased that the trust agreement, which was used in an attempt to obtain joint ownership of an apartment that she purchased, was rendered void and invalid due to fraudulent behavior in connection with the execution of the agreement,” her attorney Allan Mayefsky tells PEOPLE in a statement. “We believe that the evidence, including evidence of the husband’s fraudulent behavior and unclean hands, will clearly demonstrate that Bethenny, who is the sole purchaser, is also the sole owner. We are also pleased the court invalidated the award of interim spousal support to Jason based on his waiver in the prenuptial agreement.”
An appellate court in New York ruled Frankel no longer must pay Hoppy approximately $12,000 a month in temporary maintenance, which is support a higher-earning spouse pays while a divorce case is pending. Frankel has paid her ex $12,000 a month in support in the last year.
When he heard that Frankel was claiming that she was pleased with the ruling that required her to participate in a trial to determine ownership of the apartment and that her view that she was the legal owner had been rejected, Hoppy’s lawyer, Bernard Clair, countered by saying that he and his client were themselves “very pleased about Bethenny’s definition of winning.”
A source close to the case also points out: “Mr. Mayefsky’s assertion that the court had already determined that Jason had engaged in fraud was totally inaccurate and contradicted by the actual words in the appellate decision. The finding was that it [the trust] was rendered invalid because of improper acknowledgment, (meaning how it was notarized). And that was the only reason given by the court to nullify the trust agreement.”
The couple had a prenuptial agreement waiving claims for spousal support or maintenance, and the ruling in Frankel’s favor cited this agreement, according to court documents.
The court also examined the Tribeca apartment Hoppy still lives in, which Frankel paid for while they were still together, according to the documents. Frankel bought the apartment under a trust, which named both the Skinny Girl mogul and Hoppy as beneficiaries, however the court reiterated Tuesday that the trust was not valid.
Hoppy argues that the property was purchased with the intention of it being joint property and that he made payments toward its renovation and maintenance, therefore he deserved joint rights to the property. The apartment has appreciated in value from the original $5 million they paid for it up to $7 million currently.
“Nonetheless, issues of fact exist whether the parties intended to jointly own the apartment, and whether the husband was involved in any fraud in the preparation and execution of the trust agreement,” the court found.
The court will rule at a later date if he has rights to the property. This would be significant if and when the apartment is sold, as it would determine who would get the proceeds.
Clair also said it was a good day in court for his client.
“Jason is very happy that the court agreed with him that the ownership of the marital apartment is still an open issue and that he will get his day in court,” Hoppy’s tells PEOPLE. In addition, he says, “We believe that the court was in error when they applied an across the board waiver of the right to receive temporary support when the words to extinguish the right did not appear in the prenup.”
Frankel and Hoppy, both 45, announced their split in December 2012 after three years of marriage.