Glock Stock Shock – Marital Duel Over Hand Gun Fortune Grips Austria

Gaston Glock wins court fight with ex-wife Helga over £1.8bn company after 84-year-old inventor marries 33-year-old nurse and fires wife and three children from trust.

Glock 19 gun

The Glock gun company is worth an estimated £1.8bn. Photograph: Carsten Rehder/EPA

He is the 84-year-old Austrian billionaire who made his fortune by creating the pistol that bears his name.

She is his former wife of 49 years, who divorced him when he took up with a 30-something nurse who cared for him after he had suffered a stroke. The case has riveted Austria for weeks.

But now, Helga Glock’s attempt to reclaim a multimillion-pound stake in her husband’s company has been thrown out by an Austrian court, in the latest round in a bitter dispute between the two over ownership of the Glock brand.

Gaston Glock, a former radiator engineer, made his fortune after creating the plastic pistol that saw off competition to become Nato standard issue by the early 1980s.

The now legendary pistol was his first attempt at producing a weapon and it is still used by more than half of all American police departments. It is also the latest weapon of choice for the British Army, which has ordered 25,000 as part of a £9m contract to equip troops in Afghanistan.

In happier days, Helga Glock, 71, agreed to pass her 15% share of a firm now valued at around £1.8bn to a trust for the family, including their three children.

But in 2011, just a few months after his divorce from Helga, Gaston married Kathrin Tschikof, the nurse who cared for him while he was sick.

She is 51 years his junior. He also fired Helga and their three children from their jobs and cancelled their stake in the company that was held in trust.

As part of her effort to claw back the stake, Helga included testimony detailing information about the break-up of the marriage. She said it had in effect ended in 2008 after Glock had a stroke, and had then become close to Tschikof.

In her testimony, Helga described how Tschikof had prevented the family from seeing Glock, saying: “She totally denied me and other family members any access to him, warning us that such contact would threaten another stroke or possibly cause death.”

Glock’s lawyer Maximilian Eiselsberg had filed a claim that rejected the allegation, and said that his client’s stroke was not the point when the relationship ended. He argued instead that it ended in 1988 when Glock moved into a new home and lived separately from his wife.

Earlier this year, Helga had more success in the courts after a ruling in Vienna said she may receive an allowance based on her husband’s income, despite her former husband’s lawyers arguing that her existing income was enough to cover her living costs.

In August, the court agreed with her, saying that alimony had to be decided the same way for high incomes as it does for lower incomes.

The scandal is not the first to touch the handgun manufacturer. Gaston Glock successfully prosecuted his financial adviser Charles Ewert for hiring a hitman to kill him in 1999.

Ewert was sentenced to 20 years in jail with the hitman Jacques Pêcheur receiving a 17-year sentence.

Lawyers for Helga and Gaston Glock were unavailable for comment on the latest ruling.

– The Guardian