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Price of Norman's freedom: $103 million

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, July 11, 2008

Greg Norman and Chris Evert had better enjoy their honeymoon.

Ditching their respective spouses sure cost them boatloads of cash.


Ex-Channel 25 News Director Joe Coscia gave Rachael Ray an early career boost.

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Famed golfer and businessman Norman's divorce from former flight attendant Laura Andrassy cost him $103 million and change, according to previously secret documents filed Thursday in a Martin County court.

Combined with the $7 million that Evert, his new wife, paid her ex-husband, former Olympic skier Andy Mill, in their late 2006 divorce, the newlyweds paid a whopping $110 million to be legally wed.

Worth it?

"It is a high price to pay for freedom," mused high-octane WPB divorce attorney Jeff Fisher, who reps Norman.

The newly public paperwork is a three-page agreement that Norman and Andrassy signed in June 2007 as their bitter divorce proceedings flared up. Lawyers for both camps kept it confidential. But several issues arose after the divorce became official in September, and Circuit Judge Elizabeth Metzger ordered the agreement released.

It shows Andrassy received a first payment Sept. 13. On the check: $50,000,000 - her half of an investment fund.

The document also reads that Andrassy is scheduled to receive another $30.2 million over 15 years. She gets more: $17.5 million from the sale of the former couple's beachfront home on Jupiter Island; a $4 million home in Palm Beach; and $466,000 from a retirement account. Andrassy also gets back $500,000 worth of jewelry as well as her $250,000 investment in an interior design company, among other baubles.

The settlement could be one of Martin County's highest postnup paydays and among the top 20 in South Florida. In the 25 years he was married to Andrassy, Norman parlayed his golf fame into several business ventures under his nickname Great White Shark, including a vineyard in his native Australia, real estate and clothing.

"I'm having a great summer," said Andrassy, sporting a Cheshire cat-like smile. "I had my golf friends over for the Fourth of July. People like Nick Price and his wife. Ben Crenshaw. It was fun."

Andrassy, 58, appeared in the Stuart court Thursday morning for a hearing designed to settle two post-nup issues. One is whether Norman, 53, should be forced to pay Andrassy an extra $1.5 million, interest on the $50 million payment that the ex-missus claims came three months late. The other is whether Andrassy broke a confidentiality agreement when she blasted Evert in interviews with Page Two and others.

Norman was absent. He married Evert, 53, in the Bahamas on June 28. It wasn't so long ago that he and Andrassy accompanied Evert and Mill on family vacations.


When Midwest restaurant entrepreneur Dean Vlahos blew in and bought $12.8 million worth of homes in Palm Beach, popular wisdom had him retiring.

Not so. The 57-year-old is about to launch his third restaurant concept in Delray by the start of next snowbird season, in the A1A-East Atlantic space left open when Shore folded last week.

Vlahos founded the Champps Americana sports bar chain, which he sold in 1996 for $52 million, and the Redstone eateries, upscale Colorado lodge grill-style restaurants spreading through the Northeast. He's spending about $5 million to make the old Shore into a luxury burger joint. Its new name: Luxe.

"There's been some turnover at that site," said restaurant broker Jeff Sussman, who put Vlahos' deal together.

"But everything Dean touches turns to gold. He's got a long-term lease."


... Well-liked WPBF-Channel 25 News Director Joe Coscia last week was canned, or resigned, depending on who's talking. It's the second sudden departure of a higher-up at the third-ranked station: Former General Manager Viki Regan quit in April. Coscia, who's highly visible in the community, couldn't be reached for comment. Early in his career, Coscia was the first to put TV cooking sensation Rachael Ray on the air, on a small station in New York state. With Coscia's disappearance, I'm told that star anchorwoman Lisa Hayward, who expected to be fired when new General Manager Caroline Scollard-Taplett took over last month, is expecting to sign a new contract. ... Retired Montreal Expos outfielder and current Florida Marlins executive Andre Dawson was spotted at P.F. Chang's in Palm Beach Gardens Tuesday at lunchtime. How could anyone have missed him? He pulled up in a silver Maserati with the vanity plate HAWK10, after his playing days nickname, The Hawk. ... Funnymen Chris Tucker (Rush Hour 1, 2 and 3) and D.L. Hughley will perform at Zo's Summer Groove Comedy Show Saturday night at the Hard Rock Resort and Casino in Hollywood. Zo's Summer Groove, Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning's big charity fund-raiser, includes a celebrity basketball game and a concert by Queen Latifah. The event ends Sunday. ...



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