Parore: Ridge declined 'deal of the century'
Adam Parore said he offered his ex-partner Sally Ridge "the deal of the century" in a bid to end the couple's financial disputes.
The pair, who were together for nine years before separating in 2010, have been embroiled in a bitter dispute in the High Court in Auckland this week. It centres on a jointly owned company - Small Business Accounting (SBA).
This afternoon, Parore said he had been "insanely generous" with his many offers to try to end the pair's financial wranglings.
"There wouldn't be a person in the courtroom who wouldn't do this deal," he said.
The details of the proposed arrangement cannot be released because of suppression orders put in place to protect the interests of SBA.
"I went to extreme lengths to make it all work, not to my advantage but to Sally's advantage," Parore said during cross-examination.
Giving evidence earlier this week Ridge said that in September 2011 ongoing payments to her were suddenly stopped by Parore, who is chief executive and managing director of the company.
But when her lawyer, Daniel Grove, addressed the matter with the ex-Black Cap during cross-examination today, Parore denied it was that simple.
"I think evidence suggests there's a little bit more to it than that once-over-lightly summary," Parore said.
The ex-cricketer said Ridge had stopped turning up to meetings and had contributed little to the business.
He stressed the pair, who have two children together, had a good relationship until this disagreement turned things sour.
"This isn't about our personal relationship, it's about our relationship breaking down over money and finance," Parore said.
"Hopefully over time that'll repair. I don't know if it will but I'd like to think it will.
"We have our children as a bond and we operate well as parents."
Many of the couple's problems stemmed from a Ponsonby property they had been in the process of redeveloping, which drained more finances than expected.
When they split, they sold the house.
"It's about Sally's conduct between the period of the Arthur St [property] sale and 12 months thereafter when she was just impossible to deal with, not because she's a bad person ... she's just not a business person," Parore said.
The former international cricketer, who has various other business interests, including a rental car franchise and an art portfolio, said he would walk away from SBA only if he was forced to.
"If I end up being forced out of my own business I'd take it on the chin, pick myself up and carry on," Parore said.
He has been under cross-examination since yesterday and became animated today when defending the amount of work he did in his role as boss of SBA.
Ridge gave evidence saying he worked only about three hours a day from home, but Parore keenly disputed that.
"I don't think Sally sees a lot of the work I do. I'd sit in bed and fiddle away on spreadsheets for hours and hours and hours," he said.
He accepted his workload diminished after the breakup and during his 10 weeks away climbing Mt Everest, but said he generally worked 45 hours to 60 hours a week.
Ridge had appeared in two 15-second television adverts, for which she was paid. Parore said that was the extent of the work she had done for the business.
Ridge is claiming up to $830,000 from the sale of the Arthur St house as well as back-paid dividends from SBA.
Parore's lawyer Zane Kennedy is expected to close his case tomorrow with Ridge's lawyer closing on Monday.
- © Fairfax NZ News