Cash-strapped Sally Ridge has become embroiled in a fresh financial battle as her partner's ex-wife sues for thousands of dollars.
Mother of two Carita Fenning says Ridge's partner, Warren Fenning, owes her cash - and she is going to court to get it, angry at her former husband showering Ridge with offshore holidays and "bling".
"I don't want to come across as some bitter, nutty ex-wife because that's not what this is about," Carita told the Herald on Sunday.
She decided to go public because she was at her "wits' end".
"Enough is enough, I can't hide under a rock any more. I have always maintained my dignity and I think they have always thought I was a pushover, but stuff it - now it's a matter of principle."
The Fennings split nearly three years ago and settled on the proceeds of the former family home, but not the business they co-owned. As part of a post-split settlement, Carita said Warren was meant to be "drip feeding" her money from his business, Original Print Media Ltd.
This week her lawyer confirmed a "Notice of demand for payment" had been served on Warren for an alleged "breach" of a relationship settlement. She said the action was taken after she believed Fenning missed a deadline to pay an instalment worth several thousand dollars.
Warren moved in with Ridge - the ex-wife of former league star Mathew, and ex-partner of former international cricketer Adam Parore - about six months after the split with Carita. Warren and Ridge now live at Ridge's two-storey villa in Auckland's Herne Bay.
After her marriage ended, Carita, once a regular in the social pages, left her job at the KidsCan charity to resit her real estate agent's licence. She has just started a new job at Ray White Real Estate, in Epsom. She has also recently completed a major renovation of her home in Parnell, which she bought from her dad at "mates' rates". "I have got a mortgage ... I have to put a roof over my kids' heads and put food on the table ... These are his kids - so they should take priority."
Nine days ago Warren was put on notice by Carita's lawyer that he had until September 22 to pay the alleged outstanding sum. On Friday after Warren failed to meet the deadline, the legal team started working on civil proceedings seeking to have the matter heard in the Auckland District Court.
Carita said 2013 was a real struggle for her and the children.
"I was worried that the kids had been through so many changes - like mum and dad part, selling the house, moving in with my mum till we got this place. So there was a lot going on but at least school was a constant for them."
These days "life is simple but perfect", she said.
Warren Fenning declined to comment, and Ridge did not return calls.
Meanwhile, court action taken by Parore's company Small Business Accounting, serving bankruptcy notices on Ridge, is set to be heard in two weeks.