Former model Emma Steel has been seen taking a morning video call with a well-groomed man as she battles for a slice of her estranged neurosurgeon husband’s $23million property portfolio.
Mrs Steel, 41, was at the centre of a sensational legal dispute after she wrongly accused husband Dr Timothy Steel of assaulting her after a Christmas party last year.
Amid her marriage breakdown, Mrs Steel has now been spotted taking a video call with a well-dressed man while leaving her Range Rover on Saturday morning.
Mrs Steel sported a leopard skirt and held a fur-lined jacket over her head as she talked on the phone.
She openly aimed the screen towards the photographer, and a dark-haired man in a blue buttoned up shirt was visible on the phone.
The court ruled against Mrs Steel’s accusations earlier this month, and it since has been revealed the estranged couple are gearing up for a showdown over the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement.
An agreement was reportedly signed 12 years ago to protect his $23million property portfolio, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The couple own properties at Bellevue Hill, Woollahra, Balmain, Potts Point, Darling Harbour and an Engadine KFC outlet.
In March, Mrs Steel reportedly placed caveats on her husband Dr Steel’s $23million property empire, effectively blocking the sale of any of his properties.
The onetime model’s actions mean Dr Steel cannot sell any of the properties without notifying his wife – including the family’s lavish eastern suburbs mansion.
That five-bedroom house in Holland Road, Bellevue Hill, was bought by Dr Steel for $6.53million in May 2010 and is now likely to be worth at least $8million.
Mrs Steel has also put caveats on a house in Edward Street, Woollahra bought for $3.3million in 2002 and a Trelawney Street apartment in the same suburb bought for $1.4million in 2009.
The newspaper, which first reported the move by Mrs Steel, stated she claimed a ‘direct and indirect financial contributions towards the property.’
The dispute over the property portfolio after Dr Steel, 56, returned to work on July 16, two weeks after a magistrate cleared him of attacking 41-year-old Mrs Steel.
The former model had claimed Dr Steel kicked, slapped and punched her inside their home the morning after a Christmas party last year.
In addition to domestic violence claims, Mrs Steel accused her husband of financial abuse, despite Downing Centre Local Court hearing she had a monthly allowance of some $24,000.
Experienced magistrate Vivien Swann found Mrs Steel to be an ‘inconsistent witness’ and dismissed all charges against the father of her two children.
That decision led Dr Steel to be reinstated by the Medical Council of NSW – which had suspended him until the case was resolved.