Jocelyn Wildenstein is a billionaire socialite originally born in Switzerland famous for her extravagant lifestyle. At one point, she was worth more than $2.5 billion. Today, however, she says that she’s broke. How could she have possibly spent all of that money?

Wildenstein was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1945. She was born into a modest family with her father working in a sporting goods store and her mother maintaining the home. She was a very beautiful young woman, however, who wanted much more than a simple life.

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Daily Mail

She began dating Alec Wildenstein, an art dealer and horse breeder, in the 1970s and the two would later marry. The couple was introduced by a Saudi arms dealer. Alec was worth a substantial amount of money thanks to his family’s art galleries. It’s been reported that his family owns the largest private art collection in the world. The couple would have two children, but their marriage fell apart, resulting in a very acrimonious divorce.

Reports were that Jocelyn walked in on Alec with a 19-year-old Russian model in their bedroom and had a gun pulled on her by her husband. The incident led to Alec spending the night in jail. These stories became tabloid fodder, but the socialite made headlines for another reason entirely.

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Woman’s Own

At some point in the marriage, Jocelyn began undergoing numerous plastic surgeries. According to some reports, she wanted to look more cat-like because her husband liked big cats. While that claim is disputed, it’s not disputed that she began to look unnatural due to the surgeries.

It’s estimated that she spent $4 million to achieve her unique look. The press dubbed her “Catwoman” due to her unusual appearance. She took the criticism in stride, however, because she reportedly loved the way she looked. Not everyone agreed with that assessment.

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Business Insider

When the judge was dividing the marital assets, she actually stipulated that the money could not be used for more plastic surgery for Mrs. Wildenstein. In total, the socialite received $2.5 billion and $100 million per year for 13 years after. It was one of the largest divorce settlements in history.

Since the divorce, Wildenstein has largely kept a low profile. She is sometimes seen with her boyfriend Lloyd Klein, a fashion designer. She did, however, make a public statement recently indicating that she was penniless.

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Wildenstein claims that when Alec died, his family stopped paying her monthly maintenance payments. Those payments stopped in 2015, leaving Wildenstein broke. While this sounds impossible, Klein has confirmed that he was paying for his girlfriend because she had no money, not even for necessities like food.

While it’s unclear how she ripped through all that money, some of her reported spending habits suggested that she wasn’t particularly good at managing her finances. She allegedly spent $60,000 per year on her phone bill and $547,000 on food and wine. Some also suggest that she’s had more plastic surgery, despite the judge’s order.

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Daily Mail

Even though this woman now stays out of the public eye, she remains a fascinating figure. She certainly rose high from her modest start in Switzerland and is now known the world over.

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