Mistress claims Richard Pratt reneged on deal worth millions

A former mistress of the late packaging billionaire Richard Pratt claims the entrepreneur promised to set up $2.5 million trust funds for each of her children and pay her an annual retainer of $500,000 for her upkeep.

Madison Ashton, a Sydney escort, has lodged a claim in the New South Wales Supreme Court against Pratt’s $5 billion estate, claiming damages for breach of contract.

Ashton claims she first met Pratt in 2003 while working as an escort and claims that in November of that year Pratt asked her to stop providing escort services to other clients and instead become his personal mistress. Her statement of claim says that under this arrangement “she provided sexual and other services for Pratt”.

Ashton’s claim alleges that Pratt was to establish $2.5 million trust funds for each of Ashton’s two children, pay her a $500,000-a-year retainer, buy her a $100,000 Mercedes Benz, pay her $36,000 a year for rent and pay $30,0000 in annual travel expenses related to her “fashion accessories business”.

However in late 2004 or early 2005 Pratt “withdrew from his relationship in her capacity as mistress”, despite the fact Ashton “remained ready, willing and able to be the mistress of Pratt”.

Ashton says Pratt paid her $100,000 in 2003 and bought her a $90,000 Mercedes in 2004, but reneged on their rest of their contact when the relationship ended.

However, in defence documents filed in the court, Pratt’s wife Jeanne Pratt (who is also the executor of his estate) denied all of Ashton’s claims.

Jeanne says Ashton was paid $150,000 in two separate settlements in 2005, and given a Mercedes. According to Pratt’s widow’s court defence, Ashton agreed to settle as a result of the two settlements.

The matter is due back in court in July.

Another of Pratt’s mistress, Shari-Lea Hitchcock, has also made a claim on Pratt’s estate. Hitchcock is the mother of Pratt’s youngest daughter Paula.

Richard Pratt died in April 2009 after a long battle with cancer.


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