Duncan Bannatyne, star of Dragon’s Den and his wife of five years, Joanna McCue, are divorcing.
However, due to McCue’s financial demands, Bannatyne warns his estranged wife he may have to lay off his staff. The divorce battle may cost Bannatyne a considerable chunk of his financial empire.
It is claimed that McCue wants an allowance of more than £1,000 per day plus payments for their children, house and holiday house in France.
But according to Bannatyne whose financial empire includes hotels, bars, property, and health clubs, his estranged wife’s demands would mean sacking 43 people.
It is not clear though how the extra expenditure would lead to such drastic down-sizing.
Bannatyne’s wealth is bound up in the value of his companies and he gives a lot of his earnings to charity, according to his friend.
Bannatyne says it is unfair that the future of his staff should be jeopardized because of McCue’s demands. He adds that they should be more prudent in the economic climate.
According to The Sunday Times Rich List, Bannatyne is worth more than £430 million. But he claims that his wealth is not as much as that.
Joanna McCue is Bannatyne’s second wife. They have two kids; 10-year-old Emily and 8-year-old Tom. It is still not known if they had a pre-nuptial agreement.
The multi-millionaire entrepreneur is now staying at a London apartment after he left their home in the North East following the break up.
According to reports, McCue is still believed to be staying at the five-bed roomed house in the Wynard Estate in Billingham, County Durham. It is an exclusive place where former residents include football icons Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer.
Bannatyne bought the house in September 2004 for £750,000.The couple also has a holiday villa in the south of France.
Another friend of the couple revealed that Bannatyne is really upset about the split and is taking it quite badly.
After looking at the Sunday Times Rich List, Bannatyne’s wife thinks he is much richer than he is. But in reality, he is worth nowhere near her astronomical figure.
Bannatyne also has four children with his first wife, Gail. She was the Nursing Director at his Quality Care Homes business in the mid-1990s when they met. He proposed to her on holiday in Barbados and they were married in November 2006 in Billingham.
Bannatyne who is a Twitter user, shocked fans in July when he claimed that he was considering taking his life because his second marriage was having problems.
At the time, one friend said Bannatyne and McCue still consider themselves a married couple and were trying to work things out.
There was no third party involved.
On his first marriage, Bannatyne says he was very unhappy in the run-up to the separation. He would get in the car, drive to work, stop in a lay-by and start crying.
He came very close to considering suicide. He knew life wasn’t just right.
Bannatyne was born in Clydebank, Scotland. He served in the Royal Navy for 12 years.
He became a celebrity after the success of BBC2 entrepreneur show Dragons’ Den. It’s a show where people pitch for investment from the Dragons.
McCue has no comment on the matter.
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