The Battle for Roger Moore’s millions: Bitter war breaks out over family fortune between his widow’s son and the lawyer she has grown close to
- On his death in May 2017, aged 89, Sir Roger had apartment in Monte Carlo and a ski chalet
- The combined worth of his homes is said to have been more than £30 million
- Son of wife Kiki claims mother is having her money spent by lawyer Per Troen
- Kiki said son Hans Christian Knudsen, 53, is angry because she cut off allowance
He played James Bond with tongue-in-cheek insouciance and a permanently raised eyebrow.
And if anyone embodied the high life imagined for 007 by his creator Ian Fleming, it must surely have been Sir Roger Moore.
At the time of his death in May 2017 at the age of 89, he had an apartment in Monte Carlo, a flat in London’s Eaton Square and a ski chalet in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
At the time of his death in May 2017 at the age of 89, Sir Roger Moore (pictured with his wife Kiki) had an apartment in Monte Carlo, a flat in London’s Eaton Square and a ski chalet in Crans-Montana, Switzerland
The combined worth of his homes is said to have been more than £30 million, and the actor was reputedly worth about £80 million in all.
Latterly, he shared a blissful life of luxury with his fourth wife, a petite blonde Danish socialite called Kristina, widely known as Kiki.
They had been together since 1994, after Sir Roger supported the widow — a friend of his then wife Luisa — in her recovery from breast cancer, and they fell deeply in love.
‘Kiki is my soulmate,’ he would say. ‘We are only ever apart when she goes to the hairdresser’s.’ Life at their home on the Cote d’Azur was wonderful.
The couple would potter in the Bentley from their Monaco apartment overlooking the beach at Larvotto to Le Michelangelo in Fontvieille for a seafood lunch.
In the evenings, they dined at the Hotel de Paris with friends including Prince Albert and his wife, Charlene.
Kiki’s son Hans Christian Knudsen (pictured above), 53, claims that his mother is being charmed and her funds depleted to the tune of millions by her lawyer
They were regulars on the London social scene, too, at red-carpet and A-list events.
Naturally, this being Sir Roger’s fourth marriage, there were naysayers — particularly Luisa, his third wife, a fiery Italian actress to whom he was married for 27 years.
She was deeply wounded and bitter at having been dumped for Kiki, who had been in the Moores’ social circle as they had neighbouring homes in the South of France.
Luisa would characterise her replacement as ‘a hanger-on who’s had two husbands and three facelifts’.
Over time, though, Kiki developed warmer relations with Sir Roger’s three grown-up children by Luisa, Geoffrey, Debbie and Christian.
The statement they issued to announce their father’s death included the line: ‘Our thoughts must now turn to supporting Kristina at this difficult time.’
Two years on, thrice-widowed Kiki, now 77, is still going through a difficult time, albeit for different reasons.
Indeed, an extraordinary family row is being played out in public in the Danish Press — via court documents and a shocking exchange of letters — with Kiki’s son Hans Christian Knudsen, 53, claiming that his mother is being charmed and her funds depleted to the tune of millions by her lawyer.
Ultimately, what may be at stake is the fortune Sir Roger left in his will.
Kiki has responded to her son’s allegations by saying that Hans Christian is a ne’er-do-well who has never worked and is angry because she has cut off his allowance.
She told the Mail this week: ‘I have done only clean things, so I am not really involved in any of this at all.’
Asked about her son, she emitted a sound somewhere between a deep sigh and a groan. But allegations continue to fly back and forth, and the scandal is growing by the day.
Kiki’s handsome lawyer, 63-year-old Per Troen, charged £155,000 for his services from November 2017 to December 2018. He is also said to have been given a Rolex watch
These allegations centre on three transactions revealed to a court in Monaco, which has — extraordinarily — put Sir Roger’s widow into a guardianship as a result.
This deprives Kiki of control of her estate on the grounds that she might have been taken advantage of.
There is £2.2 million that was transferred to a trust in New Zealand last year, a gift of £479,000 to a Danish expat couple who are friends of Kiki’s, and legal fees for her handsome lawyer, 63-year-old Per Troen, who, according to court documents, charged £155,000 for his services from November 2017 to December 2018. He is also said to have been given a Rolex watch.
So far, the issues involve Kiki’s personal fortune, which probably stands at about £5 million — she owned property and had two immensely wealthy husbands before she met Sir Roger — but friends warn of wider implications.
Kiki, a car dealer’s daughter, was first married to Hans Christian Knudsen, a fur and leather manufacturer.
Sir Roger Moore played James Bond with tongue-in-cheek insouciance and a permanently raised eyebrow (Above: Moore on the set of The Man With The Golden Gun)
They met when she was working as an air hostess, married in 1962 and had a son — also Hans Christian — and a daughter, Christina.
They lived grandly in the family mansion, summoning servants to the dining table by ringing a bell.
In 1975, though, Hans Christian the elder killed himself after suffering business losses and being accused of tax evasion. Kiki was left with children aged nine and seven.
She wasn’t on her own long, though, marrying Ole Tholstrup, the heir to a butane gas fortune, in 1978.
Her second marriage took her into the top stratum of Danish society —Tholstrup was friends with the late Prince Henrik, husband of the Queen of Denmark, and they would go hunting and shooting together.
The Tholstrups became a fixture at Danish royal parties.
Ole, a relative of restaurateur Mogens Tholstrup, who once dated Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, inherited £35 million when his father died, and the family moved to the South of France to avoid punitively high Danish taxes.
The children were sent to boarding school, with Hans Christian enrolled at Herlufsholm, the ‘Eton of Denmark’.
According to family friends, the separation led to a somewhat strained relationship between Kiki and her children.
Her daughter, Christina, once said in an interview that Ole was ‘verbally abusive’ to his stepchildren; he was also an alcoholic. He died in 1991, aged 61, from a heart attack.
Kiki didn’t inherit his whole £50 million fortune, much of which went to his children by a previous marriage.
But she did get a flat in London, the house in France and a financial settlement.
Sir Roger’s divorce from third wife Luisa Mattioli cost him a reported £10million
Kiki then married Sir Roger and they moved to Monaco.
It was reported that Sir Roger’s divorce from Luisa cost him £10 million, and his children didn’t attend the nuptials in order not to hurt their mother’s feelings.
His son, Geoffrey, said at the time: ‘None of us can forget that Kiki was my mother’s friend and was welcomed in our home.’
Over the years that followed, however, it seems that Sir Roger and Kiki — or Lady Kristina, as she preferred to be called — built bridges with their adult children.
A family friend in Denmark said it was Moore who persuaded Kiki to work on improving her relationship with her children.
In 2016, Kiki’s daughter Christina died of cancer at the age of 47.
Both Sir Roger and her mother were at her bedside in the UK — and Christina’s brother Hans Christian says he was also with her, holding her hand, as she died.
Hans Christian was by then married to a prominent Danish lawyer, Henriette Grenaa. The couple have two children and live in a palatial white villa in Copenhagen.
He is a marine biologist and is said to have been involved in the wine business, but now describes his job as ‘import-export’.
The first public signs of a rift between Kiki and her son came a week ago in an article in the Danish tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet, which noted that Kiki had been placed under financial guardianship in Monaco after paying out large gifts and legal fees.
She is appealing against the guardianship ruling and the matter will return to court next month.
The article also claimed Kiki had been introduced to her lawyer, Per Troen, by Carsten and Kate Hesselhoej, ex-pat Danish friends living in France, in June 2017, just a month after Sir Roger died.
She is alleged to have given the Hesselhoejs a large gift in gratitude for their friendship with her late daughter.
Apparently, probate has not been declared on Sir Roger’s estate. Above: Sir Roger with actress Madeline Smith in Live and Let Die
She also, via her lawyer, invested £2.2 million in a trust in New Zealand, it was reported.
In a letter apparently from Kiki to Per Troen, quoted in the article, she expressed ‘deep concern’ about where her money was.
Kiki hit back with a two-page typewritten letter to Ekstra Bladet in which she described Per Troen as a ‘longstanding trusted friend of my late daughter and myself since the Nineties’.
She added: ‘I have absolute trust in him and am, for the first time in my life, in charge of my own affairs with the family office, my lawyers and banks, and have not been defrauded.
‘Your information must have come from my son, Hans Christian Knudsen, who out of self-interestedness has tried to suggest that I am not of sound mind.
‘This is not true. I know exactly what I am doing and where my money is.
‘The letter from October 2018 [that] your article refers to [expressing concern about the fund], addressed to Per Troen and signed by me, was written by my son Hans. I was forced to sign it. It was not true, but I signed it under duress and my son knows it.’
Kiki added: ‘The whole nasty mess which this case has caused me comes about only because I just stopped paying my son his allowance.
‘I have for years supported my son and paid for almost everything he wanted.
‘I love my son and wanted for him to work for himself. He never has and I thought if I stopped paying money to him he would start to work and act responsibly.
‘He did not, but rather has caused me a good deal of grief and expense by making untrue allegations.’
On Thursday, Hans Christian wrote a letter in response. He said he believed Kiki’s letter to the paper had been ‘orchestrated and written’ by Per Troen, and added: ‘My mother has never expressed herself like this — and only writes in (long)hand.
‘Unfortunately, the letter also shows that my mother signs anything Per Troen puts to her, without completely understanding the consequences.’
Hans Christian claims his mother is being deprived of her fortune: ‘After a police investigation as well as a thorough process conducted in court, the court in Monaco has ruled that these massive and inexplicable money transfers be stopped immediately. The court therefore decided to appoint a financial guardian for my mother.
‘I have from October 2017 until October 2018 repeatedly sat down with my mother and tried to explain the seriousness of the situation to her . . . but my relationship with her has been severely challenged for the past few years after Per Troen entered the picture via an introduction from the Hesselhoej couple.’
A friend of Hans Christian Knudsen told the Mail: ‘He sounds very distressed and lonely at the moment. He is worried about his mother, who he believes is in a vulnerable state.
Kiki, pictured left with Sir Roger and her daughter Christine in 2010, said the ‘mess’ of the case came out because she ‘just stopped paying my son his allowance’
‘It is true that for many years Kiki paid the way for both children. Hans Christian got accustomed to a certain kind of lifestyle and has never had to work hard in his life, although he is a businessman.’
Per Troen, for his part, declines to comment on confidential matters relating to clients, or on court proceedings.
But in an email to the Mail on Tuesday, he wrote: ‘I am not a party to the court case in Monaco and am not Lady Kristina’s lawyer, nor her financial adviser. The allegations Hans Christian Knudsen continues to make, against me personally and my company, are wholly untrue.’
To confuse matters further, in a telephone call on Thursday, Kiki said Per Troen was her lawyer.
And friends of her son say there is a wider issue at play here, which is what is finally to become of all Sir Roger’s money.
Apparently, probate has not been declared on his estate — and friends of Hans Christian say Per Troen is also the lawyer in charge of sorting out Sir Roger’s bequests.
Per Troen has not responded to the Mail’s requests to comment on the subject of Sir Roger’s will.
But a source said: ‘The Moore children are devastated by all this drama and nobody seems to have the power to act or to know what is going on.
‘[Sir Roger’s] will should have been sorted out a long time ago.’
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