MICHELLE Young hired a controversial private investigator to sue her ex-husband for money just weeks before he fell 60 feet to death on iron railings outside his £ 3million penthouse .
The divorcee employed fraud investigator Simon Sutton, according to the Daily Mail, although her ex-husband Scot had claimed he was being hunted to insanity.
Real estate millionaire Young, 52, plunged four stories to his death. Firefighters used an angle grinder to cut through the bars and free his impaled body.
The tragedy followed years of wrangling over Young’s mysterious finances in one of the most bitter divorce cases ever seen in a UK court.
During the course of the case, it was alleged that Ms Young, now 49, used eight private investigators to try to prove that her husband, 52, had kept his immense fortune from her.
Mr Young said at the time that being followed persistently made him “paranoid” and ultimately led to him being severed under the Mental Health Act.
Ms Young appealed to Nevyan Intelligence Services to renew her attempts to find funds she believed her ex-husband had been keeping from her.
The company is headed by Mr Sutton, 43, an Oxford graduate who claims to have over 20 years of experience investigating fraud and corruption in Europe, Asia, West Africa, the Middle -East and the Caribbean.
Mr Sutton has had a series of failed businesses and Nevyan is classified as ‘high risk’ having faced two county court judgments in debts amounting to £ 4,665.
Last night Mr Sutton told the Daily Mail: “I am not in a position to discuss the matter. I am sorry, I cannot discuss it.
Ms Young declined to comment on Mr Sutton’s involvement in the case.
It is understood that police will be examining his privacy and complex business relationships as part of the investigation into Young’s death.
Scotland Yard was quick to say they did not consider the tragedy suspicious, but a friend who traveled to the scene in London to lay flowers wondered if the father of two had committed suicide.
He told reporters: “We don’t yet know if it was suicide.”
Young’s girlfriend, model and reality TV star Noelle Reno, 30, said: “I am overwhelmed by the sudden loss of my best friend.”
Ex-wife Michelle, 50, who has spent more than six years suing Young in court for hundreds of millions of pounds, said: “I’m too upset to speak right now.
“I just have to take care of my kids and make sure they’re okay. It is a very difficult time for all of us. We went to hell and came back.
Young fell shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday from a window in the two-level penthouse he shared with Noelle in Montagu Square, Marylebone.
A man working nearby said: “It was a horrible scene. The police were visibly shocked. One of them said it was the worst thing he had seen at work.
Another witness said: “The police covered the body but I could see it was on the edge. I could see his feet hanging down. It was horrible.”
Young spent his early years in a building on Clapington Street in Dundee. His father Duncan played for Dundee United.
Duncan turned 76 the day before his son died. He and his wife Betsy are said to be on vacation in Spain and were not available for comment.
Young dropped out of school at age 16 without a degree and began building his real estate empire in the late 1980s.
He met Michelle in 1988. His father, a successful businessman, helped him on the road to success.
In the mid-1990s, Young was worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and among his friends were Topshop mogul Sir Philip Green and US President Bill Clinton.
At one point he and Michelle owned a £ 21million country house in Oxfordshire, six mansions in London’s exclusive Belgravia, a £ 3.5million house in Miami, a yacht in Monaco and two £ 700,000 Mercedes Gullwing cars.
But the couple’s 11-year marriage fell apart in 2006.
During the marathon divorce case, which lasted for 65 hearings, Michelle described Young as a “fixer for the super-rich” and claimed that prominent friends in the business world helped her hide assets of £ 2 billion.
But Young said in 2006 he lost everything and went bankrupt when a colossal real estate deal in Russia, dubbed Project Moscow, collapsed. A source claimed he had established ties with members of the Russian underworld.
Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky was known to be an investor in the scheme. He was found hanged last year at his Berkshire mansion and an investigation has recorded an open verdict.
Young said the failure of the Moscow project left him with nearly £ 30million in debt. He claimed he couldn’t afford to pay £ 27,500 a month in maintenance for Michelle and their daughters, Scarlet, 21, and Sasha, 19.
Green and top restaurateur Richard Caring both told court they loaned Young five-figure sums.
Young said he was harassed by Michelle’s private investigators and suffered from a depressive illness. It later emerged that he had been severed twice under the Mental Health Act.
Michelle’s attorney, Edward Fitzgerald QC, rejected the Scots’ arguments of poverty.
He said Young seemed to lead a life “consistent with considerable wealth”, and added: “He goes from party to party with a glass of champagne in hand and his current girlfriend, model or other, at his. arm.”
In January last year, Young was sentenced to six months and briefly jailed for refusing to give the court full details of his fortune. A judge called him “flagrant and willful” contempt of court.
The case was finally settled in November of last year. Judge Moor said he could only find £ 45million for Young and ordered him to pay Michelle £ 20million within 28 days.
Young has also been asked to pay £ 5million on his ex-wife’s £ 6million legal bill. She used 13 sets of attorneys and four sets of accountants during the case.
The judge criticized Young and Michelle for the bitterness of the case, saying they had not focused on their children. He said he only felt “sympathy” for the two girls.
Judge Moor added: “Extremely serious allegations have been conveyed like confetti. In many ways, this is about as bad an example of how to litigate that I have come across.
Michelle called the £ 20million price shameful, insisting, “It’s worth billions.” The court learned in March that no money had been paid and the judge said he believed Young had hidden assets abroad.
Noelle said Young was still haunted by the loss of his wealth. She said: “He still can’t cope with it. It was so traumatic for him.
Young had appeared with Noelle on the Ladies of London reality show, which screened on both sides of the Atlantic.
They moved to Montagu Square, where Ringo Starr lived, in July. Noelle said the penthouse was a “happy little house for our happy little life”.
Police said after Young’s fall: “A man, believed to be in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene. Death is not considered suspicious at this time. “