Highlands & Islands

Millionaire Alan Savage denies ex-partner's claims

Julie Zelent
Image caption Julie Zelent claims the relationship left her "economically disadvantaged"

A millionaire businessman has denied allegations made by an ex-partner who is suing him for £500,000.

Julie Zelent, 51, who now lives in the US, said her two-year relationship with Inverness businessman Alan Savage, 61, left her "economically disadvantaged".

She is claiming for loss of earnings, employment benefits and pension rights.

Mr Savage said Ms Zelent would lie by a pool, go to the gym, or go shopping on trips abroad that she has complained about in court.

The civil hearing at Inverness Sheriff Court has heard Ms Zelent's claims that she had been unable to find work since her split from Mr Savage in 2008.

Ms Zelent said that, after meeting on a flight from Edinburgh to London in June 2006, Mr Savage, a widower at the time, later convinced her to give up her £54,000-a-year IT job with Royal Bank of Scotland and join him in Inverness.

She told the court that the bank said it was not possible for her to work out of Inverness but Mr Savage offered her a job at his company.

Mr Savage runs a company called Orion and is a former chairman of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC.

Responding to complaints about foreign trips, Mr Savage said: "I can not understand how she could say that.

"I would go away to meetings and she would lie by the pool all day or go to the gym or shopping."

Mr Savage also denied her claims that he would tell her what to wear and that she should only wear a dress once.

His counsel Jonathan Mitchell, QC, asked: "Would you tell her to wear a dress once and not a second occasion."

Mr Savage replied: "No, it is absolutely ridiculous.

"Who in their right mind would say to someone to wear something just once?"

The hearing before Sheriff Margaret Neilson continues.

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