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The sometimes affectionate Perelman family

By Laurie Bennett

September 23, 2011 at 8:35am

The Forbes annual package on the richest Americans features an engaging interview with billionaire Ron Perelman and his father, Raymond.

“We’re alike,” Raymond says. “We both have fires in our belly.”

They’re also both rich and bald.

But their marital histories are decidedly different. Raymond Perelman was married to Ron’s mother, Ruth, for 70 years. (Ruth died in July.)

The younger Perelman, on his fifth marriage, is not known for graceful exits. The split with actress Ellen Barkin was so bitter that the post-divorce jewelry sale was written into the “Sex and the City” movie.

Yet the affectionate interplay between these two alpha males puts the contentious younger Perelman in a softer light than most media coverage.

“If I went to God and asked for a son, I couldn’t have got a better one,” Raymond told Forbes writer Keren Blankfeld.

That’s not to say all is well in the Perelman family.

In 2009, Raymond sued another son, Jeffrey, accusing him of misusing a trust set up to benefit his daughter. Jeffrey then filed his own suit, charging misuse of pension funds. He later added defamation to the allegations.

Jeffrey apparently did not attend the Forbes interview.

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The sometimes affectionate Perelman family
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