Cutting Ridge off 'against moral obligation'

Last updated 12:25 23/09/2013
Sally Ridge
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STILL FIGHTING: Sally Ridge and Adam Parore fighting over assets three years after their relationship ended.

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Auckland socialite Sally Ridge was "best mates" with former Black Cap Adam Parore after their 2010 split, but a bitter feud erupted between them after he cut off payments to her from a jointly owned business, the High Court in Auckland was told today.

The dispute between the pair, who were together for nine years before separating, has been aired in the court over the last week.

Ridge said she stopped receiving payments from jointly owned company Small Business Accounting (SBA) after Parore put a stop to them.

She is claiming up to $830,000 in back-paid dividends from SBA and from the sale of the pair's Arthur St , Ponsonby, house.

In his closing argument today Ridge's lawyer, Daniel Grove, told the court his client and Parore always had the understanding their respective trusts had a 50/50 share in Small Business Accounting.

"There has never been any debate, there has never been any question about that," he said.

Grove said Ridge's "naivete" in not distinguishing herself from her trust did not detract from the former couple's "intention to share trust assets equally".

Parore cutting Ridge off "goes against the moral obligation of trustees", he added.

By cutting her off, Ridge was obligated to pay off part of a substantial loan which was owed by the company.

On Friday, Parore's lawyer, Zane Kennedy, said Ridge had been a "difficult witness to cross-examine" and "wasn't interested in the detail" of how the distribution of their assets through family trusts worked.

She had the mistaken belief that she personally owned half of the accounting business and that was "fatal" to her claim for compensation.

Kennedy said there was "no evidential basis of bad faith" on Parore's part

Parore told the court while giving evidence last week that he had offered Ridge "the deal of the century" in a bid to end the couple's financial disputes.

The details of the proposed arrangement cannot be released because of suppression orders put in place to protect the interests of SBA.

Parore added that he went to "extreme lengths" to make their arrangement work, but Ridge had stopped turning up to meetings and had contributed little to the business.

The relationship between the pair, who have two children together, then turned sour.

Many of the couple's problems stemmed from an Arthur St property which they had been in the process of redeveloping. It had drained more finances than expected and when they split, they sold the house.

The trial will close today, with the decision expected to be reserved.

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