I'm getting a divorce like Ivan Boesky's

Alan Lupo

July 07, 1993|By Alan Lupo

AS SOON as I find the right lawyer, I am going for the gold.

I make this decision from having read the newspaper. This is why people should read. You pick up all kinds of helpful hints, lessons of life, signposts to sanity, atrocious alliteration.

In a recent edition of the paper was this story by Reuters out of New York:

"The ex-wife of Ivan Boesky, the one-time Wall Street titan convicted of securities fraud, agreed yesterday to give him $20 million in cash and annual support for the rest of his life in a divorce settlement."

This man Boesky, who is my age, really wanted $50 million, but he had to settle for $20 million, a California house worth $2.5 million and $180,000 a year in support payments for the rest of his life. He must be devastated, but you just have to pick up and push ahead with what you have.

I've got the message. So this time I say that if I cannot fight them, I shall join them. I'm looking for that lawyer and am about to leave my wife of 31 years, the same number of years the Boeskys were married. Soon, you will read:

"The ex-wife of Al Lupo, a man of few convictions and absolutely no security, eagerly agreed yesterday to give him $20 in cash and an annual card or letter of support for the rest of his life."

("Dear Al, I write this because the court ordered me to. I'm fine. Hope you are too. Will write again next year. Sincerely, the former Mrs. Lupo.")

It has become abundantly clear to me that I cannot make a decent living just by working, and I am not clever enough to manipulate stocks or bonds or whatever it is that some people manipulate, so a big divorce settlement is the only option I have left to play.

Of course, I'll not get the kind of cash available to the former Mrs. Boesky, who, unlike her ex-con husband, made her money the hard way. She inherited it from her family, who owned lucrative properties.

The soon-to-be former Mrs. Lupo did not spring from quite the same wealth, though her parents, of blessed memory, did once invest in some railroad stock that produced an annual dividend in its last year of 37 cents, if memory serves correctly.

This means I shall be forced to depend on largess from her free-lance writing. She is a fine writer, much better than I, but free-lance writers are in an economic class with actors and adolescent collectors of empty soda cans.

But I'll grab whatever the lawyers can negotiate. Frankly, money means nothing to the party of the second part. For a week or more a free-lance check was sitting untouched on her desk. I scooped it up. It was a royalty check for six bucks and change. She'll never even know it's gone.

(So, you see, I've got a bit of the Boesky in me, and that undoubtedly will devastate her as it did Boesky's wife, who broke down on the witness stand as she testified how her husband's business dealings made her an outcast. "I saw my name removed from buildings," she said.)

Am I good or what? That Boesky is a piker compared with me. Oh, it'll be messy, but the court will force a settlement. The first thing I do when I get my $20 is take her out to dinner. I'm staying on the good side of my meal ticket.

Alan Lupo is a Boston Globe columnist.

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