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TV presenter Trinny Woodall fights off court bid over late ex-husband's debts

Published 25/11/2016

TV presenter Trinny Woodall and her then husband Jonny Eliakoff
TV presenter Trinny Woodall and her then husband Jonny Eliakoff

TV presenter Trinny Woodall has fought off a bid by her late ex-husband's creditors for repayment of his debts.

Johnny Elichaoff, who married Ms Woodall in September 1999, was made bankrupt in July 2009 and committed suicide in November 2014.

The couple were divorced shortly after the bankruptcy - and an agreement which involved Mr Elichaoff paying Ms Woodall and their daughter £24,000 a year and repaying a sum of £1.4 million to her was later declared void.

In July 2015, Ian Robert, the trustee in bankruptcy, issued an application against Ms Woodall seeking a lump sum or a property adjustment order including payment of a sum equivalent to Mr Elichaoff's debts.

The case went to the High Court after a registrar struck out Mr Robert's claim earlier this year saying that it had "no merit whatsoever".

On Friday, Deputy Judge Robin Dicker dismissed Mr Robert's renewed application for permission to appeal the order.

He said: "I confess to some initial surprise at the suggestion that a trustee in bankruptcy is entitled, after the death of the bankrupt, to apply for an order for financial relief against the surviving party to the marriage, for the benefit of the bankrupt's creditors."

That initial reaction was "only reinforced" during the course of the hearing in London.

He added that the registrar was correct to have struck out the claim on the basis that Mr Robert had no real prospect of success.

The judge also rejected Ms Woodall's bid to set aside an order giving Mr Robert permission to appeal against a decision striking out his claim over £40,000 given to her by Mr Elichaoff in late 2008 shortly before the start of bankruptcy proceedings.

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