CEO’s long battle with beauty queen step-mom over $2M suite

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    http://nypost.com/2017/07/08/ceos-long-battle-with-beauty-queen-step-mom-over-2m-suite/

    CEO’s long battle with beauty queen step-mom over $2M suite
    By Kathianne Boniello
    July 8, 2017 | 3:44pm

    [IMG]
    Miss Ukraine 1996 Natalia Shvachko, seen here in 2003
    .ZUMAPRESS.com


    A former beauty queen’s reign over a Sutton Place pad could come to an ugly end — if the super-rich boss of a video game company gets his way.

    Robert “Bobby” Kotick is worth billions as the president and CEO of Activision Blizzard, the publisher behind smash hits such as “Call of Duty” and “Guitar Hero.” But he needs to raise some cash to pay his dead father’s tax bill, according to Manhattan Surrogate’s Court papers.

    Kotick, who dates widowed Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg, says his dad’s estate is “functionally insolvent,” and needs to sell off its only asset: a 1,800-square-foot, six room Manhattan apartment with sweeping East River views, according to the filings.

    But the apartment’s current occupant apparently has other ideas.

    Miss Ukraine 1996 Natalia Shvachko has lived in the $2 million, two bedroom home for 16 years, ever since she met and fell in love with Bobby’s dad, Manhattan lawyer Charles Kotick.

    The two were married for five years before Kotick died in 2005. He bequeathed the home to Shvachko, 40, who insists that Bobby, who oversees his dad’s estate, won’t put the apartment in her name.

    Shvachko says she’s in danger of losing the apartment to foreclosure because she can’t refinance it, since it legally belongs to Charles’ estate.

    [IMG]
    CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick
    Getty Images for Vanity Fair


    The apartment is in financial distress because Shvachko blew off the mortgage payments, and Shvachko wants to “rehash her personal grudges,” Bobby Kotick said in court papers.

    The home must be sold off on the open market to help pay an estimated $5 million in liabilities, he insists in court papers.

    If the estate is in financial straits, it’s Bobby’s fault, because he’s been chasing Shvachko through courts across the country, “always engineering to outspend her into oblivion,” she claims in court filings Shvachko married Charles Kotick — who was 40 years her senior — in 2000 in Las Vegas.

    The court battle between Shvachko and Kotick’s children has lasted more than twice as long as the marriage.

    In 2012, Kotick’s daughter, Deborah Ann Gruber, went to Nevada, accusing Shvachko of bigamy in an effort to invalidate the marriage to Charles. The Nevada court dismissed the effort as frivolous.

    Shvachko and Bobby Kotick have duked it out in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court for more than a decade. Bobby claims Shvachko has drowned the $2.5 million estate in litigation, driving up it’s legal costs.

    The younger Kotick “is obsessed with defeating his step-mother’s right to any assets from her husband’s estate,” she alleges in legal papers.

    Meanwhile, the bills piled up. Shvachko blames Bobby for refusing to give her title to the home.

    “Absent the executor’s bias against Natalia, the apartment would have been transferred to her 10 years ago. She then would have had the opportunity to refinance” and keep the home, she says in court papers.

    It’s Bobby who is holding grudges, said Shvachko’s lawyer, Eve Markewich.

    Kotick “is spending so much effort and so much money just to show his stepmother that he’s in control,” she said.

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