The New Zealand man at the centre of an acrimonious international court case says he's not the abusive gold digger his ex-partner claims - he just wants their fortune divided fairly.

Hamish Hurley spent six years in a relationship with wealthy American divorcee Mandy Gray. The pair travelled the world together, blogged about their life aboard their $10 million yacht and created various business ventures based on a shared love of health and wellbeing.

But in January this year Gray dumped Hurley while they were holidaying in Malta and things quickly turned ugly as they fought over the ownership of $39m of property purchased during their relationship.

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In the UK High Court this week, Gray's lawyers called Hurley the "archetypal gold-digger par excellence". Gray also claims he was abusive and pressured her into buying the disputed assets. She claims she is the sole owner as she paid for them, while Hurley claims they are jointly owned.

But from his father's home in Geraldine, Hurley told Stuff he disputed the "horrible" things was being said about him in court.

"Up until the day we broke up I would've given up my life for her. I would've taken a bullet for her."

The case has raised eyebrows as Gray's $173 million fortune originally came from her own acrimonious divorce from a wealthy financier worth $290m.

With the shoe now on the other foot, Hurley claims Gray is operating to a double standard in denying him part of the property.

One of the supercars under dispute, a Pagani, is worth almost $2 million. Photo / Supplied
One of the supercars under dispute, a Pagani, is worth almost $2 million. Photo / Supplied

"Most people are saying what's good for the goose is good for the gander," he told Stuff. "She fought tooth and nail for 50 per cent of everything her husband had and now she thinks I shouldn't get a penny. Most people would say that's a bit unfair."

This week in the London High Court Mr Justice Lavender heard arguments about whether the case should be tried in the UK or New Zealand.

Hurley wants the case tried here, where de facto partners are treated the same as married couples and property tends to be divided evenly.

Hurley has described the relationship as "intimate" and "loving", with lawyers saying he has 40,000 phone messages showing it in a positive light.

The Herald approached Hurley for comment yesterday but he said he needed to speak with his lawyers to ensure he would not be prejudicing his case in the UK. Gray has hired a PR firm to communicate on her behalf.

The Oyster 825 yacht Enso on which Mandy Gray and Hamish Hurley sailed the world. The boat was sold this month with an asking price of €3.85m ($6.6m). Photo / Supplied
The Oyster 825 yacht Enso on which Mandy Gray and Hamish Hurley sailed the world. The boat was sold this month with an asking price of €3.85m ($6.6m). Photo / Supplied

Among the disputed properties are several supercars, an Italian villa and a New Zealand sheep and beef station. Mt Albert Station at the headwaters of Lake Wanaka covers nearly 13,000ha and shares a boundary with Mt Aspiring National Park.

Hurley and Gray's company 4Hector bought the station in 2016 - the Otago Daily Times reported it had been purchased by "an unknown New Zealander". Hurley owns 912 shares or 76 per cent of the company, while Gray owns 288 or 24 per cent.

The Oyster 825 yacht Enso on which they sailed the world was sold this month with an asking price of $6.6m.