Business, Finance & Economics

Russian heiress, 22, buys NYC apartment for $88 million; proceeds to charity?


How Russia's other half live? A homeless man looks through a trash bin near a metro station entrance in Moscow on March 13, 2009.


Dmitry Kostyukov

Yekaterina Rybolovleva, daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, has broken New York real estate records by paying $88 million for a Manhattan apartment, Forbes magazine reported

The 6,744-square-foot apartment at 15 Central Park West, which reportedly boasts 10 rooms, including four bedrooms, a wrap-around terrace (itself over 2,000 square feet) and two wood-burning fireplaces, was previously owned by Sanford Weill, a former chairman of Citigroup.

Weill, who bought the apartment with his wife Joan for a then record $42.4 million, has said that the proceeds of this sale would be donated to charity, according to the New York Observer.

Forbes quoted a representative for Rybolovleva, 22, as saying the heiress — a resident on Monaco — was "currently studying at a US university. She plans to stay in the apartment when visiting New York."

Dmitry Rybolovleva, a former fertilizer magnate, became rich during the post-Soviet privatization of the economy, according to Agence France-Presse

The oligarch paid $95 million in cash for Donald Trump's Palm Beach mansion, Maison de L'Amitie in 2008.

His net worth is reportedly $9.5 billion, and in 2011 he was ranked No. 93 on Forbes' billionaire list

However, the Daily Mail reported that Dmitry Rybolovlev, who once spent 11 months in jail for murder (he was later acquitted), was in the middle of a bitter divorce with wife Elena, to whom he has been married for 23 years, that could cost him dearly.

Elena, with whom Rybolovlev has two daughters, has accused him of serial infidelity.

Two years ago, she filed a lis pendens — where a court gains jurisdiction over a property — on their home in Palm Beach after claiming her husband 'has a history of secreting and transferring assets in order to avoid his obligations', the Palm Beach Daily News reported.

It was later removed, although it could be reinstated after an agreement is reached on how to settle the assets.

Yekaterina Rybolovleva paid full asking price for the apartment, the magazine reported on Monday, calling it a record for an individual transaction in New York City.

The previous record for real estate sale in Manhattan was $53 million — paid by J. Christopher Flowers for the Harkness Mansion in 2006, according to the Daily Mail.