PR consultant who raised millions for Tony Blair and is now ‘living the life of Riley’ could be jailed after failing to hand over £2million to his Austrian princess ex who is great-granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
- Millionaire Anthony Bailey’s ex-wife is princess Marie-Therese Hohenberg Bailey
- Ms Hohenberg Bailey accused Mr Bailey of being in contempt of court
- The couple married in 2007 during a grand ceremony and have a son together
- Mr Bailey donated £50,000 to David Miliband during Labour leadership battle
A public relations consultant who raised millions for former Prime Minister Tony Blair has been embroiled in a fight with his ex-wife over money.
Austrian princess Marie-Therese Hohenberg Bailey accused Anthony Bailey, 51, of being in contempt of court and said he should be sent to prison.
Judge Mr Justice Holman heard how Mr Bailey and his ex-wife, the great granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, had been involved in a fight over £2million at private hearings in the Central Family Court in London.
Ms Hohenberg Bailey says Mr Bailey has breached orders made as a result of that litigation and should be committed to prison.
Mr Bailey disputes the allegations made against him.
The couple married in 2007 during a grand ceremony in front of 600 guests at the Abbey of St Peter’s in Salzburg, followed by a reception at Salzburg Festival Hall, in a wedding which reportedly cost £1million.
Anthony Bailey (left) has been embroiled in a fight over money with his ex-wife Austrian princess Marie-Therese Hohenberg Bailey (right) who has accused him of being in contempt of court and said he should be committed to prison
The couple married in 2007 during a grand ceremony in front of 600 guests at the Abbey of St Peter’s in Salzburg, followed by a reception at Salzburg Festival Hall, in a wedding which reportedly cost £1million
A one-time Tory supporter, Mr Bailey helped raise funds for both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and donated £50,000 to David Miliband’s run for the Labour leadership.
Mr Justice Holman today considered Ms Hohenberg Bailey’s application at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Tuesday.
A family court judge had ruled that Ms Hohenberg Bailey should walk away with more than £2million.
Mr Justice Holman heard that she had not got ‘her money’.
He made decisions on preliminary issues at Tuesday’s hearing and further hearings are expected in coming months.
Mr Bailey, who lived in London, was not at Tuesday’s hearing. His lawyers told Mr Justice Holman that he was in Portugal and not well enough to travel to England.
‘I am very sympathetic to the situation of the wife here,’ said Mr Justice Holman.
‘The judge made an order. It has not been appealed. She is supposed to be getting a substantial amount of money.
‘She believes he is living the life of Riley.’
He said the family court judge had made ‘very, very trenchant findings’ against Mr Bailey.
Mr Bailey, a former pizza parlour worker turned PR guru, was a one-time Tory supporter before he helped raise funds for both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and donated £50,000 to David Miliband’s run for the Labour leadership
Ms Hohenberg Bailey had run up around £800,000 in legal bills, he was told.
Mr Justice Holman added: ‘I am incredibly sympathetic. She has got her order from the court and all she wants is her money.’
Lawyers representing Mr Bailey asked Mr Justice Holman to bar reporters from naming him in reports of the hearing, but Mr Justice Holman refused their application.
He said the hearing was being staged in public, in line with rules governing contempt applications, and Mr Bailey and his ex-wife could be named in reports of the case.
Ms Hohenberg Bailey is the great granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked the First World War.
With Mr Bailey she had a son who was named after her grandfather Maximilian, the son of Franz Ferdinand.
Ms Hohenberg Bailey is the great granddaughter of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked the First World War. With Mr Bailey she had a son who was named after her grandfather Maximilian, the son of Franz Ferdinand
Mr Bailey, a former pizza parlour worker turned public relations guru, donated £50,000 to Mr Miliband in 2010, five years after Labour’s then treasurer, Lord Levy, rejected Mr Bailey’s money over fears he was acting on behalf of businessmen from abroad.
Mr Bailey went on to start his own firm, Eligo International, which counts foreign banks and international statesmen on its books, offering them a ‘discreet’ service.
He has also worked with BAE, the arms manufacturer, which had its relationship with Saudi Arabia scrutinised by the Serious Fraud Office.
Mr Bailey was given an OBE for his ‘interfaith’ services in 2008 and counts Prince Charles as a friend. He was also close to the late Pope, John Paul II and is a devout Catholic.
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