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Disappearing act: Billionaire developer Harry Macklowe claims his real estate holdings have SHRUNK in value from $548.9m to just $23m as he prepares to finalize his bitter divorce from his wife of 60 years

  • Harry Macklowe and his wife, Linda, had been married for nearly 60 years when he announced he was leaving her for his younger French girlfriend
  • Macklowe, 80, built a career and reputation on risky real estate deals that included the purchase and subsequent sale of the GM building 
  • Linda Macklowe has amassed one of the most coveted art collections in the country that is worth an estimated $1billion, which her lawyers dispute
  • Although Macklowe's financial statements say he holds a portfolio of properties worth $548.9million, he is now telling Linda that he is really worth $23million

Billionaire real estate developer Harry Macklowe is not a magician, yet during his divorce trial he managed to make over half-a-billion dollars disappear.

Although Macklowe's financial statements say he holds a portfolio of properties worth $548.9million, he is now telling his soon-to-be ex-wife Linda's lawyers that he is really worth a measly $23million.

The Macklowes are currently in the midst of an acrimonious divorce, according to Page Six.

'The total amount of commercial real estate that you certified to the banks was $548.9million and the position that you're taking in this lawsuit is that your total commercial real estate is worth $23million, is that correct?' Linda Macklowe's lawyer, John Teitler, asked Harry Macklowe in a Manhattan court on Wednesday.

Although Harry Macklowe's (right) financial statements say he holds a portfolio of properties worth $548.9million, he is now telling his soon-to-be ex-wife Linda's (left) lawyers that they are worth $23m

Although Harry Macklowe's (right) financial statements say he holds a portfolio of properties worth $548.9million, he is now telling his soon-to-be ex-wife Linda's (left) lawyers that they are worth $23m

The Macklowes are currently in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. Harry Macklowe, 80, informed his 79-year-old wife of 58 years, Linda, that he was leaving her for a younger woman - the blonde French mistress Patricia Landeau (seen with Harry above on the right), 62

The Macklowes are currently in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. Harry Macklowe, 80, informed his 79-year-old wife of 58 years, Linda, that he was leaving her for a younger woman – the blonde French mistress Patricia Landeau (seen with Harry above on the right), 62

'That's correct,' he responded.

In 2016, Harry Macklowe gave a 'statement of financial condition' to banks so that he could obtain loans and lines of credit.

The statement listed $548.9million worth of assets, including the 'crown jewel' in his portfolio – Macklowe's $440milllion stake in 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western hemisphere.

In the statement, he also claims just $30million in liabilities.

Yet, in his divorce from Linda Macklowe, Harry Macklowe is claiming liabilities of $400million – most of which is from deferred capital gains.

The statement listed $548.9million worth of assets, including the 'crown jewel' in his portfolio - Macklowe's $440milllion stake in 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western hemisphere

The statement listed $548.9million worth of assets, including the 'crown jewel' in his portfolio – Macklowe's $440milllion stake in 432 Park Avenue, the tallest residential building in the Western hemisphere

One of the Macklowes' estates in the Hamptons (above) includes a pool, main house and what appears to be a guest house or separate building on the property, which one site has valued at more than $7.6million

One of the Macklowes' estates in the Hamptons (above) includes a pool, main house and what appears to be a guest house or separate building on the property, which one site has valued at more than $7.6million

The statement failed to mention his vast art collection, which is thought to be worth in excess of $1billion.

He also owns a condominium in the Plaza Hotel whose value is estimated to be at $100million.

As if that weren't enough, the couple owns a $41million racing yacht and a two mansions in the Hamptons. 

The judge presiding over the divorce didn't seem surprised.

'It’s not uncommon in matrimonial cases that a spouse says I have no money and yet shortly before the divorce action starts submits a statement to a landlord that says, oh, yeah, I have plenty of money you should give me an apartment,' Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Laura Drager said. 

Harry Macklowe, 80, informed his 79-year-old wife of 58 years, Linda Macklowe, that he was leaving her for a younger woman – the blonde French mistress Patricia Landeau.

It marked the end of an era for one of New York City's most long-lasting and recognizable couples in the cutthroat world of real estate and Manhattan high society.

As husband and wife each fight to keep their properties, paintings and playthings their divorce seems set to be just as ruthless as Harry Macklowe's business dealings.

 Linda's team  has scoffed at attempts by her husband's lawyer to downplay his wealth, saying that he's used accounting tricks to hide his true value.

Landeau, 62, is president of the French Friends of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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