Ridge/Parore split: 'I was boxed into the corner'

By Brendan Manning

Adam Parore (right) at Auckland High Court. Photo / Dean Purcell
Adam Parore (right) at Auckland High Court. Photo / Dean Purcell

Adam Parore has told a court he was left with no choice but to cut off dividend payments to his ex-fiance Sally Ridge after she boxed him into a corner.

"I didn't wake up one morning and just decide I didn't like Sally anymore and was going to cut her off to spite her," he said at the High Court at Auckland today.

Mr Parore said he ran out of options after trying to to negotiate a settlement process with Ms Ridge more than five times over their Small Business Accounting firm.

"I think I gave it a pretty decent crack."

Ms Ridge is claiming back pay and unpaid dividends.

She said she hadn't received dividends from the business since September 2011 and wants a return to her relationship with the firm as it was in August that year.

Mr Parore has said he refused to pay her dividends because she refused to contribute to the company's expenses or attend meetings.

"I essentially felt I had no more choice. I was boxed into the corner," he said from the witness box today.

Ms Ridge was "perfectly capable of making money" without the dividends, Mr Parore said.

"Sally was perfectly capable of making at least $100,000 all on her own."

Mr Parore said he had been "pretty generous to find ways to make it all work" - including formalising the "equal sharing agreement" from their previous relationship and selling Ms Ridge a share of the company and then paying her a salary.

"There isn't a person in this courtroom who wouldn't say 'yes' to this deal," he said.

However, "Sally wouldn't agree to anything".

Earlier in the day the former international cricketer said the Auckland socialite cared only about the money she received from the business.

"She didn't care where it came from," Mr Parore said.

Under cross-examination, from Ms Ridge's lawyer Daniel Grove, Mr Parore said "she never bothered to help" with their business.

When asked whether Ms Ridge would have understood the legal or accounting explanations for why her dividend payments were stopped, Mr Parore said "she never once bothered to repay the joint expenses ... it was all just one-way traffic".

"All she was focused on was getting paid."

Mr Parore said Ms Ridge is entitled to half of his business, however he cannot work with her.

"I've always acknowledged that Sally is entitled to half, I have no problem with that," he said from the witness box this morning.

However, Ms Ridge was impossible to deal with in a business relationship. "It's nothing against her as a person," he said.

"Sally clearly thinks poorly of me because I am listed as a contact in her email address book as 'Adam Parore (ass ****)'."

Mr Parore said their dispute was purely commercial and he would like to think when their High Court legal proceedings finished, they could rebuild their relationship.

"I don't know if it will, but I'd like to think that we will.

"As to whether I want to be in a business relationship [with her], I don't.

Ms Ridge's trust is also claiming up to $830,000 from the sale of a "palatial" property in Ponsonby's Arthur St, which the former couple sold after their 2010 separation for more than $6 million.

The hearing before Justice Murray Gilbert continues tomorrow.

- APNZ

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