Michelle Young demanded millions in a divorce settlement and battled for it during eight long years. When Scot tragically died the saga was still not over.
Divorce finalized in December 2013
They were young when they met in 1988, in love and supported by Michelle’s family. Both ambitious, they had their own businesses, eventually going into the property business together. Then Scot and Michelle had their two daughters and in 1995 they were married.
Perhaps they were happier before Scot made millions, because money sure didn’t make anything better for the two. It only looked that way for a while.
They bought their first big property worth millions in 1997. The mortgage was £2.5 Million and they had to take out another £1.5 Million loan on top of that to finance the buy. In 2001 they sold that first property for £13.5 Million.
Scot Young acquired multiple properties during his successful years that were worth millions. He was hugely successful and always supported by Michelle, whose family had helped Scot to make his start. But for the most part she herself stayed at home and ran the household as a hands-on mother.
The family had luxury vacations, luxury cars and Michelle owned expensive jewellery. In 2005 they decided to move to Miami and start a new life there. But shortly thereafter a Russian property deal took a disastrous turn and Michelle and her daughters returned to the UK again.
Assets were liquidated, creditors seized property and the couple officially separated in 2006. Michelle filed for divorce in 2007. She admitted that the marriage had been over before the financial trouble started. Apparently Scot had cheated on her, but she had opted to ignore that.
When his payments to her and her daughters stopped eventually and he cut off all funds, she began to fight him for it in court. She claimed that he cut her off after she discovered evidence that he had moved money abroad and had hidden it away in tax havens.
He denied it, but also refused to disclose just how much money was left to him. In 2010 he declared bankruptcy. He apparently had huge debts and would never be able to pay Michelle what she demanded: a £25 Million house in Belgravia and a £300 Million settlement. According to Michelle, Scot was worth billions. That claim could never be proven.
After 65 court hearings, £6.5 Million in litigation fees and thousands of pages of court documents, Michelle was awarded £20 Million as her divorce settlement in December 2013 and another £6 Million to pay for her lawyers.
The judge did not believe Michelle’s claims and estimated Scot to be worth ‘only’ £40 Million given the evidence he had seen. Michelle would thus receive half of Scot’s assets and the case was closed. It’s interesting to mention that the judge himself was quite appalled by the lengthy process of this particular case, which he called extraordinary and an example of how not to do it.
If Scot Young was truly £40 Million worth at that time is debateable. He had been jailed for contempt of court, because he refused to disclose his financial status. Whilst Scot had been ordered into custody for six months, he only served six weeks.
Needless to say the case wasn’t over.
For starters, Michelle called the £20 Million disgraceful and refused to accept the money. She didn’t want Scot to get away with stealing all the money he had hidden away and to this day she believes herself to be right.
She decided to launch an investigation herself and hired more lawyers.
In the meantime Scot tragically died in December 2014 after falling 60ft to his death onto the spikes of a railing.
Apparently he had had a run-in with his ex-fiancée just before his death. In the months before his death Scot had behaved increasingly erratic, battling cocaine and alcohol addiction as well as bipolar disorder and increasing paranoia. That’s why his ex Noelle Reno left him.
She said he’d threatened to jump off a balcony whilst on the phone to her and shortly thereafter he was indeed dead. Scot’s daughters don’t believe he committed suicide, however, and Michelle Young later said that he had always been very afraid of heights and would never step on a balcony.
She suspected foul play, especially since four of his former associates also died due to apparent suicides during the last four years.
The coroner, however, ruled foul play out in July and also said that there was insufficient evidence for a suicide. Given that Scot was apparently under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of his death, it may well have been an accident.
But even now Michelle Young is not giving up. She is still adamant that money can be recovered and she also founded the Michelle Young Foundation that is aimed at helping women in similar situations, who have more or less been defrauded and left penniless after a divorce from husbands who’ve hidden away their money.
It’s clear that she is on a crusade and has been for eight years now. Whatever evidence she has regarding her ex-husband’s assets, she has so far failed to recover any of them. She speaks a lot about trauma and justice, but doesn’t look like a woman who has suffered much hardship. In fact, she now has to face her own creditors. A lot of people (about 100 in fact), who have supported her financially throughout the years and believed that they would receive their money back once those mystical assets were recovered, have threatened to sue Michelle now.
Michelle denies all accusations and said she only ever promised people to repay them once she has been paid out herself. At the same time she refused £20 Million nearly two years ago, now saying she never saw a penny of it, whilst others claim she refused to accept it to begin with.
After all these years of fighting, it seems it would be utterly impossible for Michelle Young to admit that she might have been wrong. All the money she was given to find something that was never there was completely wasted.
The Youngs had a rapid rise, suddenly with millions of pounds at their disposal, and then they fell just as rapidly. It must have been a shock. Scot didn’t look a happy man in the pictures published of him in recent years. And Michelle simply refuses to accept the truth. It sounds very much as if she has deluded herself and she truly seems to believe that there is still money waiting for her.
Now she may be in talks about the film rights to her story. It may be her only source of income and no matter how much she would receive for a film deal, most of the money would have to go back to her creditors, especially should they sue.
It certainly is a story that seems to have been cooked up by a screen writer, but all of it really happened.