The American socialite who was embroiled in ‘New York City‘s nastiest divorce’ has revealed she plans to cross the Atlantic to make a splash on the London scene, dubbing herself the ‘new Peggy Guggenheim’.
Libbie Mugrabi last year reached a divorce settlement with art collector David Mugrabi, whose family owns $5billion worth of art, including what is thought to be the world’s largest collection of Warhols.
The couple, who did not sign a pre-nup before their lavish 2005 wedding, were fighting over their $72million Manhattan townhouse, $9million Hamptons estate, as well as portions of the vast private art collection.
The final settlement has never been disclosed but it was reported Libbie, who shares children Mary, 13, and Joseph, with David, asked for ‘$100million’ and was ‘very happy’ with the amount she was given.
Speaking in the March issue of Tatler magazine, she revealed her share of the artworks include: ‘Basquiat 1982, a Warhol Jackie Kennedy, Damien Hirsts and “a ton of stuff”.’
Now Libbie plans to bring her art expertise, flair for socialising and large chequebook to London, where she wants to support institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate.
‘NYC’s nastiest divorce’: Libbie Mugrabi last year reached a divorce settlement with art collector David Mugrabi, whose family owns $5billion worth of art, including what is thought to be the world’s largest collection of Warhols. Pictured, Libbie and David in April 2018
London-bound! Now Libbie has plans to bring her art expertise, flair for socialising and large chequebook to London, where she wants to support institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate. Pictured, Libbie outside court in 2018 (left) and in an Instagram snap
She told the magazine she sees herself as the ‘new Peggy Guggenheim’ and said well-heeled Mayfair is the ‘only area I can imagine living in’.
While visiting the UK for the interview, she made time to pop in to private members’ clubs including Oswald’s, Annabel’s and Loulou’s, but it seems she will still be based primarily in the US, where her children are at school.
Born to a plastic surgeon mother and father, Libbie was raised between New Jersey and Florida, where her parents had a home a few doors down from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.
She was 22 and on holiday in Aspen, Colorado, when she met David, the youngest son of Israeli business mogul Jose Mugrabi and his wife Mary.
The couple enjoyed the high life together and at one point had ‘a huge mansion in New York City… a big mansion in the Hamptons, cars coming out of my nose. A chef, a driver, three nannies, three cleaners and probably 30 vacations a year.’
Hamptons home: Libbie and David, who did not sign a pre-nup before their lavish 2005 wedding, were fighting over their $72million Manhattan townhouse, $9million Hamptons estate (pictured), as well as portions of the vast private art collection
Centre of the action: One of the Mugrabi pieces, a $500,000 sculpture by Keith Haring, was at the centre of the headline-making divorce proceedings, which started in 2018
David’s older brother Alberto ‘Tico’ Mugrabi, 50, is married to Colby Jordan, daughter of billionaire John W. Jordan II, who is 23 years his junior.
The pair married in a lavish ceremony at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera in 2016 in front of guests including Princess Beatrice, Karlie Kloss and Owen Wilson.
When Jose and Mary die, their $5billion art collection will be passed down to their sons and their respective families. As well as Warhols, the family also owns multiple works by Picasso, Rodin and Damien Hirst.
Indeed one of the Mugrabi pieces, a $500,000 sculpture by Keith Haring, was at the centre of the headline-making divorce proceedings, which started in 2018.
Investing in art: Libbie, pictured in an Instagram snap, wants to support UK institutions
Striking a pose: The mother-of-two on a visit to Florida in October 2020
The morning after a Fourth of July party that year, Libbie claimed she woke to find her husband naked and asleep on top of a brunette house guest, who was also naked. The house guest later claimed ‘nothing sexual’ happened.
Divorce papers were filed, bringing their 13-year marriage to an end. Libbie claimed the couple spent some $3 million per year.
Libbie also accused David of physically assaulting her when he caught her trying to move a $500,000 Keith Haring sculpture out of their home.
The acrimonious exchanges let to the tussle being dubbed ‘the nastiest divorce in NYC’ in the tabloids.
After almost two years, the couple finally settled their divorce in August last year. They are now very amicable and co-parent their children.
Private collection: Libbie and David’s daughter Mary poses in front of one of the family’s Warhols. The Mugrabis are thought to own the world’s largest collection of Warhols
Heir to the art: The Mugrabis’ son Joseph stands in front of Christopher Wool’s much coveted 1988 piece Apocalypse Now, which last sold in 2013 at auction for a little over $26million
The socialite has since been seen on the arm of Brock Pierce, a former child actor turned independent candidate in the 2020 US Presidential election. But Libbie made clear they’re not in a relationship saying: ‘I’m single, and I insist on being single’.
Explaining why she wants to support British galleries and museums, Libbie said it is as much for her children’s benefit as for her own.
‘Mary and Joseph are heirs to everything and they’re going to get everything. So what are they going to do? These two little kids that have all this stuff? So we need to make sure they’re involved in museums.’