Auckland socialite Sally Ridge has told an Auckland High Court hearing she could not understand why her former fiance tripled his salary when he spent his spare time playing golf and flying helicopters.
Ms Ridge, 42, spoke from the dock today in the continuing legal battle over her break-up with former international cricketer Adam Parore.
She said she hadn't received dividends from Small Business Accounting - which she believed they co-owned - since September 2011. Her lawyer Daniel Grove described the business as a "cash cow".
Ms Ridge sat in the dock wearing a white t-shirt under a blue checkered shirt and a blue blazer, while her daughter Jaime, their respective boyfriends and family sat in the public gallery in support.
Mr Parore wore a loosely fitting suit and sat alone for the majority of the day on the other side of the gallery.
Ms Ridge said her current financial position was starkly different to when she and the former cricketer got together in 2002.
"At the commencement of our relationship Adam was in a relatively poor position," she said.
His only assets were an apartment in Auckland and a leased Porsche, Ms Ridge said.
She, in contrast, entered the relationship with $2 million following her split from Matthew Ridge. She said she entrusted Parore to control of her finances.
When he gave her documents relating to a trust in her name she invariably didn't read them and signed them out of trust, she said.
Under cross-examination, Mr Parore's lawyer Zane Kennedy asked Ms Ridge why she did not consult her lawyers prior to signing legal documents.
"I would listen to my partner. Adam had a law degree, he had an accountancy background," she said.
"I trusted him 100 per cent."
Ms Ridge estimated she lost $900,000 following the sale of a property they co-owned on Ponsonby's Arthur Street after a renovation turned into a significant rebuild.
"It was a lot more expensive than we had anticipated.
"Adam assured me that it would be fine."
Ms Ridge said she was essentially a silent partner of Small Business Accounting and received regular dividend payments.
An agreement existed to split any franchisee sales by 50 per cent, she said.
However, "everything changed in September 2011".
"He became abusive and threatening in emails," she said.
Ms Ridge is claiming back-pay and unpaid dividends from the accountancy firm and wants a return to her relationship with the firm as it was in August 2011.
She said she never would have entered a mortgage liability if she knew her dividend payments would stop.
"I am in a greatly difficult position.
"I did look at renting but could not find anything big enough which was affordable."
Ms Ridge said she was forced to take mortgage holidays and borrow $50,000 from her parents when the dividend payments stopped.
"I had zero money to live. My mother had to pay for my mortgage for two to three months.
"I backed Adam 100 per cent and he let me down."
There was also a dispute over the ownership of a 45ft Mustang launch the company held, which Ms Ridge said was purchased after selling a section at Hot Water Beach.
The launch was later sold to purchase shares in the accountancy firm, she said.
Mr Parore is yet to give evidence.
The hearing, before Justice Murray Gilbert, continues tomorrow.