Multimillionaire ex-wife files for bankruptcy

By Laurie Bennett

June 23, 2011 at 7:04am

How long does it take to blast through $120 million?

If you’re Patricia Kluge, socialite, vintner and former nude model, about 20 years.

Two decades after winning a $100 million estate and a $1 million-year divorce settlement from TV mogul John Kluge, she has filed for bankruptcy.

Kluge & Moses
Kluge & Moses

Filings show she and her current husband, William Moses, owe between $10 million and $50 million, and have assets valued at between $1 million and $10 million.

The Washington Post reported in February that their debts totaled some $66 million.

Her downfall, Forbes reported, started with the high-end vineyard she created in Virginia.

Although Kluge Estate wines won critical acclaim and a high-end customer base that included President Bill Clinton, the winery made far more bottles than it sold.

Kluge and Moses also borrowed millions to build a luxury subdivision that hit the market at the same time as the housing crisis.

As the debts mounted, Kluge put Albemarle, her 200-acre estate in Charlottesville, VA, up for sale. The property, listed at $100 million, languished as the price was slashed to $48 million, then to $24 million.

Kluge auctioned off personal possessions - jewelry, a Chippendale commode, a crystal chandelier, a $3 million clock. The sale proceeds totaled more than $15 million.

The banks foreclosed on Albemarle. Farm Creditor of Virginia, took possession of the winery. Donald Trump, a friend of John and Pat Kluge, bought it at the foreclosure auction for $6.2 million.

Trump has said that he’ll likely ask Kluge to stay on, to run the winery.

“We are committed, and he is committed,” she told the Post. “And great things are going to come from the Kluge Estate and for the Virginia wine industry.”

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