Phil Collins’ ‘trespasser’ ex-wife Orianne Cevey will get to remain in his Miami Beach mansion with her new toyboy husband as their bitter legal fight got underway at a Florida courtroom Tuesday.
During the proceedings, the court also heard that Cevey has allegedly demanded a payment of $20m from Collins, with whom she had an on-off relationship for more than two decades.
Collins and Cevey, 46, were married from 1999 until 2008. Their record-breaking $47m divorce made international headlines.
The pair reconciled in 2016 and remained together until earlier this year. However, Collins was left blindsided when Cevey secretly married struggling musician Thomas Bates, 30, this past August. Banks moved into the couple’s $33m home while Collins was out of town.
In Tuesday’s hearing, which sometimes turned sometimes turned fiery, the rocker’s attorney angrily accused Cevey of using ‘gamesmanship’ to take over the home and stalling the legal process by changing lawyers and claims.
Judge Stephanie Silver also noted that Cevey had ‘filed a counterclaim seeking approximately $20m’ from Collins.
Although those papers are not yet available, the judge later said she ‘understands’ that relates to around half the current value of the Miami home.
Phil Collins’ ‘trespasser’ ex-wife Orianne Cevey will get to remain in his Miami Beach mansion with her new toyboy husband Thomas Bates for the time being, following a legal hearing on Thursday. The couple are pictured leaving their attorneys’ offices after the proceedings
Cevey and Bates, a 30-year-old struggling musician, tied the knot in August. He moved into the Miami mansion whilst Collins was out of town
Collins and Cevey (pictured in 2018) married in 1999, and divorced in 2008. They reconciled in 2016, but Collins was left stunned when he learned of Cevey’s romance with struggling musician Thomas Banks
Michael Green, who represents the rocker, said an affidavit filed by Cevey is the only ‘sworn statement’ she has entered.
‘There is nothing in there about the allegations that are in this supposed claim that she had a 50 percent interest,’ he stated.
Meanwhile, it also emerged Collins had left the house with just a few suitcases after ‘a confrontation’ and has left behind jewelry worth $4.7m, unpublished music and part of his collection of Alamo memorabilia, said to be worth $15m.
In legal papers, Collins’ lawyers also accused Cevey of taking over the waterfront mansion ‘through a show of force’, changing security codes, blocking his access to CCTV and bringing in an armed security team.
They had given the Cevey and Bates until last Friday to leave the home and, when they remained, an injunction was filed to have them evicted.
The lawsuit accuses both of ‘forcible entry’ and of unlawful possession of the home, which they deny.
For Tuesday’s hearing, held over Zoom, the new couple brought an attorney who was not at a previous hearing and needed a break to catch up on details.
As well as refusing to leave the house, Cevey demanded a payment of $20m, the court heard
Cevey is said to have changed the combination on the locks at the Miami mansion she has shared with Collins since 2016 (pictured)
Only Bates could be seen on camera, in the background at attorney Richard Wolfe’s office.
At one point, a voice that appeared to be Cevey’s was heard in the background.
‘I know nothing that was entered into the record,’ said Wolfe, at one point.
Judge Silver noted he was the third lawyer the couple had hired in four days.
He argued that Cevey has an ownership stake in the home, even though it is registered under a company owned by Collins.
Collins and Bates are seen out in Miami last week. The pair have allegedly taken over Collins’ mansion ‘through a show of force’, changing security codes, blocking his access to CCTV and bringing in an armed security team
Inside the home, Collins has left behind memorabilia and unpublished music, as well as millions of dollars worth of jewelry
As Collins’ legal team pushed for the removal of the ‘trespassers’, lawyer Michael Green strongly disputed ‘this supposed claim’, saying it was not even mentioned in the Bates’ previous filings.
But Judge Silver said it would take another hearing to decide on the new claim and that Collins could wait it out at another of his homes.
Jeff Fisher, another attorney for Collins, responded: ‘She has another home, let her go to Las Vegas.’
According to reports, Cevey has bought a home in Sin City.
He added: ‘This is an absolute fabrication, it’s transparent. Lawyer number three, story number four. And so, the issue really is, do they get to, through gamesmanship, deprive somebody of their home? While she has another home?’
Fisher said that Collins, who is in Europe, was looking to return to the home for Christmas and New Year.
Collins (left with Cevey in 2003, right in 2017) filed the lawsuit seeking to remove Cevey from his home
The parties agreed to have any items belonging to Collins or under dispute removed and held in storage until the case is decided
‘There is nothing more sacrosanct than a person’s right to possess and use their home,’ he added.
The judge insisted that the new hearing, which would have to be under a different jurisdiction, would be heard as quickly as possible.
Instead, a large part of the 90-minute hearing was dedicated to the removal of personal possessions in the home.
Collins’ lawsuit alleges there is a ‘substantial risk that Bates, Cevey or their agents will remove, conceal or destroy valuable and irreplaceable personal property’ from the home.
Among the items listed by the judge were jewelry, memorabilia, family photos, clothing, unpublished music and office equipment.
Collins famously is an enthusiast of the Battle of the Alamo and has a collection of items said to be worth $15m, a portion of which have been donated to a museum in San Antonio.
The parties agreed to have any items belonging to Collins or under dispute removed and held in storage until the case is decided.
Cevey allegedly sent a Collins ‘a text’ telling him that she had ‘found someone else’ to see if she could try and be ‘happy again’. Pictured in 2016