The richest man in the country, John Kluge, was awarded $46.6 million in a suit against a former friend.
Kluge, whose Metromedia empire includes telecommunications, computers and film production, had sued Bill Fugazy on the grounds that Fugazy had overvalued the limo company he sold to Kluge by about $7.5 million. A New York jury awarded Kluge $15.5 million and the judge tripled that amount.
"It's an absurd decision," Fugazy said. "It's a personal thing, Kluge and me. Personally, we were the best of friends." Kluge and Fugazy had once been so close that when Kluge converted to Catholicism, Fugazy became his godfather, but they no longer speak.
Kluge, 75, whose fortune is estimated at $5.2 billion, recently reached a divorce settlement with Patricia Kluge, 45, in which he gave her a 45-room mansion in Charlottesville, Va., and the annual interest on $1 billion, which amounts to about $85 million a year.