Therese St Clair Marshall has said she will not leave her marital home despite being ordered to by a judge.
A divorced wife threatened with jail for refusing to leave her £2mn? matrimonial home has come out fighting, saying: “Prison is nothing after all I’ve been through.”
Therese St Clair Marshall told the Standard she had no intention of leaving the house in Bayswater and would battle for a “fair settlement” from her millionaire sales director ex-husband Nicholas Marshall.
She said: “If it is inevitable I go to prison then so be it. All the while I have only been fighting for what I believe should be fair.”
The couple split in 2012 after seven years of marriage and Marshall moved back in with his parents. Their divorce was finalised in 2013 and Therese, 43, was awarded a “generous” £650,000 share of the proceeds from the sale of the property.
But she turned the house into a “fortress”, refused to give the keys to estate agents and “dared a judge to jail her”, the appeal court was told.
She also refused entry to estate agents and resisted bailiffs sent to arrest her — one of whom was “injured by a concrete bird feeder falling on his head from a top floor window”.
She was found to be in contempt of court and last November her arrest was ordered and bailiffs were sent to her door. With a seven-day prison sentence hanging over her, she argued in the Appeal Court that she had been wrongly ordered to leave her home.
The bid was thrown out after lord justice MacFarlane ruled there was “no merit at all in any of the appeals she seeks to bring”. He said: “This simple straightforward order, harsh though it may be to her, must be enforced, for the court’s orders to be respected and, frankly, for this couple to move on.”
Therese Marshall told the Standard she refuses to back down because it will mean she has “been cheated out of what should be hers”. She said: “I am fighting for all women who have been treated in this way.
“There needs to be an overhaul of the courts to better protect women like me in divorce settlements. My husband has all the money to pay for the best legal team and I can only represent myself.”
She said she had sold her jewellery — including her wedding and engagement rings — to “stay afloat”.
“I’ve been sometimes living on £15 a week. It’s hard to rebuild your career when you are in your forties and given up on your work to support your husband with his career. I didn’t plan on not being married.
“I could end up in prison, lose my home and go out onto the street. But I won’t give up because I still think my husband should offer me a settlement which is fair.”
Nicholas Marshall was unavailable for comment. Speaking outside court this week he agreed his ex-wife had turned their former home into a “fortress” and said: “She’s going to have to get out now.”
A couple ordered to quit their Chelsea home of 50 years today called the eviction “very unfair”.
Retired solicitor Robert Clarke, 81, and his wife Cherry, 72, who paid £9,800 a year in rent for the mews house off Cheyne Walk, claimed millionaire ex-Goldman Sachs banker Hugues Lepic, who bought the freehold, wanted them to pay much more.
A Central London county court judge backed Lepic and ordered them to leave within 28 days. Last night the Clarkes’ son, Damian, said they will move in days.
The couple had argued they were “protected tenants” because of the years they had lived there, but the court heard they “decamped” to Surrey during Clarke’s two pregnancies, in 1965 and in 1968.
The judge described Cherry’s evidence as “demonstratively untrue”. Clarke was told to pay £290,000 in interim legal costs, plus commercial rent on the house from 2011, an estimated £250,000.
Lepic, 50, who lives in a £10mn home nearby, declined to comment. But a friend said: “He never intended to profit from the situation and intends to give any back rent...?in the context of this judgment to charity.”
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