'Catwoman' Jocelyn Wildenstein, known for her obsession with plastic surgery, goes from billionaire to bankrupt
Jocelyn Wildenstein received a reported $2.5 billion in her divorce from her art dealer husband Alec back in 1999, and 19 years later it appears that it is all gone.
Former socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein has filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The former socialite shockingly lists her Citibank account balance as "$0".
The 77-year-old resident of Manhattan, who was nicknamed "Catwoman" because of her manic obsession with plastic surgeries in order to look like a cat, is struggling to make ends meet on just $900 a month that she receives from Social Security, according to the filing.
“I am not employed and my only income is Social Security,” Wildenstein mews in an affidavit. “I often turn to friends and family in order to pay my ongoing expenses.”
Although Wildenstein is cash poor, she still owns some coveted real estate in Manhattan, reported Fox News.
Currently perched in three adjoining apartments worth $11.75 million on the 51st floor of Trump World Tower, the woman, who was once called the "Bride of Wildenstein" due to her facial reconstruction surgeries, owes $4.6 million to Modern Bank for the palatial house, according to court papers.
She also has an outstanding $25,000 in unpaid property taxes that the city is owed.
The filing says there are other assets in jeopardy including a $38,000 payment to Chase Auto Finance for a 2006 Bentley that’s now worth just $35,000 and $700,000 to a Manhattan storage company, which is secured by her furniture. Plus, she owes Day & Meyer, Murray and Young $700,000 for belongings that total $100,000.
The remainder includes a $100 television and a $1000 wardrobe.
Wildenstein said in a statement that she is seeking bankruptcy protection in order to “reorganize my financial affairs." She has a total $16.4 million in assets and $6.4 million in liabilities, according to the filing.
The plastic-surgery victim claims that she is owed $4.5 million from her divorce with late billionaire art dealer Alec Wildenstein, which she could use to pay back her dues. Back in 1999, she netted a reported $2.5 billion from the separation.
However, those funds are over and she's deep in debt with a lot of people. For one, she owes a $175,000 to the contractor who renovated her Trump World Tower apartment. Another debt she incurred was while renting a Beverly Hills bungalow for another $165,000, which she owes the owner of the property.
Wildenstein has listed a $70,000 debt with American Express whose credit for her appears to have maxed out.
A close friend of hers told The Post that the bankruptcy situation has affected her gravely.
“She is beside herself that this has come out,” the friend said.
Explaining the ill-fated socialite's financial woes, another source who has known Wildenstein for a long time said, “She is a very nice lady but she is very gullible. She has been taken by everyone."
Wildenstein is going through a rough phase, with several lawsuits against her due to foreclosures and credit card debt. She was arrested twice over her on-off fiance Lloyd Klein.
Although the figures in the legal document are intimidating, the former socialite is always seen with a luxury handbag, a large fur, or her 32-carat diamond ring as she walks around the big apple.
Wildenstein faces an involuntary petition filed by three of her creditors who are in the process of foreclosing on the three apartments she owns at the at Trump World Tower Condominium.
The socialite, who had until May 4 to respond to their filing, states that she will have a better chance of paying back her dues through the Chapter 11 protection rather than liquidation of her assets.
Despite her ex, Alec, passing away in 2008, Wildenstein is still pursuing the $4.5 million she says she has yet to receive from the divorce. Fortunately, for her, the total personal property in her name is valued at $16,386,100 and this amount exceeds the $6,380,080 she claims to owe her 16 creditors.
She stated that her goal is to pay off all the parties the money they are owed, several of whom are involved in court proceedings with her.
Wildenstein's current predicament is a far cry from 20 years ago when she was known for her wild spending habits — blowing $350,000 on a Chanel dress, building a $3million mansion for her daughter on the family's Kenyan reserve Ol Jogi for her 17th birthday, and a lot more.
Wildenstein rose to prominence around the time of her split with the art dealer when she bragged about the high costs of her lavish lifestyle and her obsession with plastic surgery.
"She was crazy. I would always find out last. She was thinking that she could fix her face like a piece of furniture. Skin does not work that way. But she wouldn’t listen," said Alec in a 1998 interview with Vanity Fair.
While everything changed over time, the massive reparation she received from the split in 1999 allowed her to cruise along while still maintaining an opulent lifestyle.
Alec first met Jocelyn in Kenya at Ol Jogi when she was 31 years old. Both were out on a safari with friends.
"A lion had to be killed at a neighbor’s ranch," Alec remembered in Vanity Fair.
"The night before, Jocelyn asked, "Could I go with you?" I said, "As long as you keep your mouth shut.""
The couple killed the lion the next day, rode motorcycles and kissed for the first time. Jocelyn called the moment "quite intense".
In 1978, the pair eloped to Las Vegas and went in for their first plastic surgery a year later for 'eye lifts'.
"I don’t think I’ve known her when she wasn’t healing from something,' said a friend of Jocelyn in 1998.
As Jocelyn's features became more and more feline, she maintained that a resemblance was always there.
"If I show you pictures of my grandmother, what you see is these eyes — cat eyes — and high cheekbones," she said.
"I don't think there's anything wrong with it, and other than tightening up my appearance never change," said Wildenstein in a 1999 interview with New York Magazine.
"My clothes, I am still the same size when I was 16 years old. You like to stay young, to stay healthy. I do a lot of waterskiing with my son."
The couple had two children together, named Diane and Alec Jr.