The Harry Macklowe divorce has gone sky high in New York City with perhaps one of the most impressive and grand acts of pettiness seen in recent divorce history – spurring talks about the lengths spouses will go to get back at an ex.
Billionaire real estate mogul Harry Macklowe, 82, gifted his new wife, Patricia Landeau, a stunning proclamation of love in the form of a massive portrait on his world-famous 432 Park Avenue condominium complex, which also happens to be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. Each black and white portrait of the couple stands a whopping 42 feet by 24 feet.
“Since I wasn’t getting married during the summer in the Hamptons, I wasn’t able to hire an airplane with a banner to go up and down the shoreline. I thought: ‘I own a building. Why don’t I just hang a banner from my own building?’” Macklowe told the New York Times.
This type of behavior seems to be common among high-conflict individuals going through a divorce: “As a long-time family law litigator, the placement of these enormous photographs in such a public fashion seems to epitomize the petty behavior that high-conflict individuals often exhibit in the divorce process,” says Susan Guthrie, a 2018 Top Attorney in the fields of Family Law and Mediation.
“In his book, 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities
[published by TarcherPerigee in 2018], Bill Eddy – the co-founder of the High Conflict Institute – says to use the 90% rule to determine if someone has behaved in an extreme way: would 90% of people do what the person did?” If not, you are witnessing extreme behavior. (Guthrie adds the caveat that she does not know Harry Macklowe, is not a mental health professional and was not involved in the underlying divorce litigation).
What we know about the Harry Macklowe divorce.
In 2016, the billionaire real estate mogul’s ex-wife, Linda Macklowe, 80, filed for divorce after reportedly finding out about his relationship with Landeau. The couple had been married for over 50 years. Reports also state that in 2017, Harry offered Linda a $1 billion divorce settlement, which she rejected. Their divorce trial started in September 2017.
The wedding present for Harry’s French bride, who married him on March 7, may also serve as a not-so-discreet jab at his ex-wife. The grand “proclamation of love” was put on display for all of New York City to see on the building that caused quite a stir for the battling spouses during their divorce proceedings. Linda Macklowe reportedly turned down the option to buy the couple’s 78th-floor apartment at 432 Park Avenue (now adorned with the portraits of her ex-husband and his one-time mistress) for $14.4 million. Reports state that the apartment was a hotly debated topic among both parties during the divorce.
Harry claims the act was done out of love, but the sheer massiveness (and messiness) of his contentious divorce says otherwise.
The Infamous Harry Macklowe Divorce Settlement
In 2018, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laura Drager ordered that the couple split their $2 billion fortune in half. This included splitting their $700 million art collection and concluded a messy 14-week divorce trial.
While it is reported that Harry’s lawyers stated that Linda had tried to use the Park Avenue property as a weapon during the divorce proceedings, it is clear now that the property is being used as a whole new kind of weapon of choice for Harry Macklowe – one that isn’t afraid to show its vindictive face to all of New York City and beyond.
Most people are considering what Harry Macklowe did an extreme act, but he seems unperturbed by it: “My wife looks gorgeous, and I love the picture of me,” Harry said about the photographs.
“Putting aside the cost of such a ‘proclamation of love’ – which would be beyond many people’s reach – my experience of people going through a divorce is that this flagrant display is beyond the norm and would qualify as extreme. Perhaps the most telling thing of all is Mr. Macklowe’s reported comment that he loves the picture of himself,” Guthrie says.
Love on the 78th Floor
The Harry Macklowe and Patricia Landeau wedding ceremony was officiated by New York Supreme Court Justice Alan Scheinkman. The reception was held on the 78th floor of the Park Avenue building itself – fitting, as it is the same floor Harry and Linda viciously fought over during their infamous divorce proceedings. The entire 78th floor was turned into a massive ballroom by world-famous event planner David Monn.
That’s one extreme way to celebrate a new marriage – or perhaps a bitter divorce settlement.
“In any event, I wish happiness to Mr. Macklowe and his new bride as well as to the former Mrs. Macklowe along with the peace of having the divorce finalized. In my experience, moving on is the best thing for everyone after a bitter divorce.”