Supermodel Evangelista: French billionaire wanted abortion

Fri May 4, 2012 1:09pm EDT
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By Chris Francescani

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When supermodel Linda Evangelista told French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault in 2006 she was pregnant with his child, he asked her to get an abortion, her attorney charged Thursday on the first day of a child-support trial in Manhattan.

Pinault, 49, who is currently married to actress Salma Hayek, denied that charge but testified he told Evangelista that "if she were to have a child (they) might not have a relationship."

With that a four-month relationship, in which he said the couple only actually saw each other seven days, came to an end.

"I didn't even know her very much," Pinault said during an acrimonious afternoon hearing.

The case drew widespread attention last year after it was reported Evangelista was seeking as much as $46,000 a month in child support.

Her attorney William Beslow said that figure was inaccurate, while acknowledging that the unspecified sum she would be seeking is "substantial."

Beslow contends Pinault is worth more than $3 billion. Pinault's attorney, David Aronson, calculated that Evangelista's annual income averaged $1.8 million for the four years leading up to her filing for support in 2010.

"Is Mr. Pinault a comfortable person of substantial means?" Aronson asked in opening arguments. "The answer is yes. But Ms. Evangelista is also a person of substantial means."   Continued...

Model Linda Evangelista leaves Manhattan Family Court after facing her former beau Francois Henri-Pinault in New York May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly