Phil Collins may have to wait up to three years to have his ex-wife evicted from his mansion because of a backlog of trials due to Covid-19, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
Collins sought an injunction to have 46-year-old Orianne Cevey and her new husband Thomas Bates, 31, kicked out of his palatial waterfront $32 million home in Miami Beach, Florida.
But the singer, 69, suffered a major setback when Orianne made a counterclaim for $20 million – more than half the value of the house – and a county judge decided the explosive case should be heard in circuit court because of the huge sums at stake.
The development puts Collins’ filling at the back of a long line of pending cases with court closures and pandemic restrictions expected to delay jury trials by a year or longer.
The British rock star – worth an estimated $300 million – will now have to choose between paying his ex-wife off for the second time or facing off with her in a bitter, drawn-out court battle.
Phil Collins may have to wait up to three years to have his ex-wife Orianne Cevey evicted from his mansion because of a backlog of trials due to Covid-19. The musician sought an injunction this month to have Cevey and her husband kicked out of his palatial waterfront home in Miami Beach, Florida. Pictured in 2016
But the singer, 69, suffered a major setback when Orianne made a counterclaim for $20 million – more than half the value of the house – and a county judge decided the explosive case should be heard in circuit court because of the huge sums at stake
‘If we don’t reach a settlement this could take two or three years,’ Orianne’s attorney, Richard Wolfe told DailyMail.com.
‘Unfortunately that’s the nature of what’s going on in the court system right now. There is a huge backlog because of Covid.
‘While this goes on my clients are in the home and everything is fine as far as we are concerned.’
Former Genesis frontman Collins launched his drastic legal action two weeks ago after calling it quits with jewelry designer Orianne for the second time.
The pair married in 1999 and had two sons, Nicholas, 19, and Matthew, 15, before splitting seven years later.
Despite agreeing to a record $47 million divorce settlement they surprised the world in 2016 when they announced they were back together and living as boyfriend and girlfriend in the Miami home, which Collins owns through an LLC.
However the relationship ended for good when Collins discovered Orianne had ‘secretly’ married Bates, an aspiring musician 38 years his junior, in Las Vegas on August 2.
According to court filings, the Against All Odds crooner left in a hurry for Switzerland and gave the couple until October 12 to pack their bags and move so he could put the seven-bed property up for sale.
A bailiff arrived at the Miami mansion of Phil Collins earlier this month where he pinned a summons to the gates, informing the musician’s ex-wife that he is suing her
Inside the home, Collins has left behind memorabilia and unpublished music, as well as millions of dollars worth of jewelry
Orianne insists that having to leave the house immediately would be unfair on her youngest son, whom she shares custody with her other ex-husband Charles Mejjati, who lives in Miami
Collins bought the home after he and Cevey rekindled their romance in 2015, following their 2008 split, but their relationship is now on the rocks a second time
When they failed to leave Collins sued Orianne for unlawful detainer and forcible entry, accusing the pair of hiring armed guards, covering over security cameras and changing alarm codes to seize the house ‘by a show of force.’
The couple hit back with their own filing, dismissing the allegations as ‘nothing more than a retaliation’ to the new marriage and a ‘shameful story’ that Collins had ‘fabricated’.
Orianne said she fired the previous ‘longtime’ guard because he was spying on her for Collins, whom she also accused of installing 20 ‘secret’ cameras around the $12,000 sq ft residence, including in her bathroom and changing room.
‘These cameras were installed without my knowledge or consent. I covered these cameras with Band-Aids in order to preserve my privacy and the privacy of my children in the Family Home,’ Orianne said in her filing.
‘I was greatly disturbed and outraged that Mr Collins apparently requested that hidden cameras be installed in these rooms.’
Orianne insists that having to leave the house immediately would be unfair on her youngest son, whom she shares custody with her other ex-husband Charles Mejjati, who lives in Miami.
Because her counterclaim for an ‘equitable interest’ in the home would likely exceed the maximum of $30,000 that can be awarded in the county courts, a judge decided to move it.
The case was transferred over the weekend to the Miami Dade Circuit Court civil division and has yet to be assigned to a particular judge.
Hearings are typically held via Zoom, causing lengthy delays, and a court official said Tuesday that plans to hold future jury trials were still being figured out.
Collins (left with Cevey in 2003, right in 2017) has vowed not to give his ex-wife another dime, as she tried to renegotiate her record-breaking divorce settlement
Collins’ ex-wife accused him of spying on her by setting up hidden cameras in her bathroom and changing room, in explosive new court documents from their bitter legal battle. Orianne Cevey and her new husband pictured leaving their attorneys’ offices last week
A court advisory issued last Thursday warned that someone working there had tested positive for Covid-19 and advised anyone who used the same rooms to self-isolate for 14 days.
Without an injunction Orianne and Bates can’t be forced to leave the Hacienda-style mansion, which was built in 1929 and boasts a pool, wine cellar and stunning views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline.
Orianne agreed to let eight-time Grammy winner Collins send his representatives to the house to collect unpublished music and priceless memorabilia, including his platinum disc for 1981 classic In the Air Tonight.
He will also be allowed to retrieve a $15m collection of historical artefacts from the Battle of the Alamo however independent assessors will go into the mansion to work out a deal on the remaining items before Collins can take anything else away.
‘They came in, they were very punitive, very nasty. They wanted to throw Orianne and Thomas out of the house. But everything they tried to do on an expedited basis has been stopped,’ Wolfe told DailyMail.com.
‘So in essence we had three wins: the injunction was stopped, we were able to move the case from the county court to the circuit court where we filed a $20m counterclaim and we were able to get the county court judge to agree that our claim stops their eviction.
‘I’ve been finding that it takes about a year and a half to get to trial but that was before Covid and the court system is in a mess right now.
‘I think the way this resolves is that we say, fine, let’s put the house up for sale, let’s split the money.’
‘My clients are being conciliatory, they’re doing all the right things. She just wants what’s fair and what he promised her.’
Collins attorney Jeffrey D. Fisher did not return a call for comment.