According to several media reports, Latin superstar, Paulina Rubio has been accused by her ex-husband of concealing assets during their divorce proceedings earlier this year. The couple divorced in March and the pop-star reportedly agreed to pay ex-husband Nicolas Vallejo-Najera $6,750 a month for three years. Vallejo-Najera now claims, in Miami-Dade Family Court, that the alimony figure was based on a low estimate of Rubio’s income and that the agreement should be set aside. He alleges that Rubio failed to disclose that she had two lucrative television contracts in the hopper: one as a judge on Fox’s “The X Factor USA” and one as a judge on “La Voz Kids” a kids singing competition on Telemundo.
People come to us with a hunch that their spouse is hiding assets time and time again, and we have to consider instances in which a spouse could be on the brink of entering into some sort of high-income deal in the near future. Though deals executed after a divorce may not be subject to equitable distribution by the court, this does not necessarily mean that a judge won’t consider the anticipated income stream when making decisions about alimony and child support.
We told you last week that when searching for hidden assets, we always start with the public record. In this case, a search of the public record might not have been enough. A media search would have brought these two contracts to our attention shortly after the settlement agreement was signed and would have helped Rubio’s ex bring his petition to set aside the settlement agreement earlier. But it wouldn’t have prevented him from signing the settlement agreement in the first place. That’s why, when we’ve completed the public records phase of our investigations, we always propose next steps, which generally include interviews.
People tend to talk when they’re excited about something. It’s likely that Rubio told some of her friends and employees that she was in discussions to join these TV shows. When we’re looking at people to interview, we like to choose former employees and co-workers or past litigation opponents. These people may not feel connected to the subject of the investigation any longer, and litigation opponents might still have an axe to grind and want to talk. In this particular case, we may have been able to interview someone who is both Rubio’s former employee and past litigation opponent. According to media reports, Rubio’s ex personal assistant worked for her from August through October 2012 when he quit (or was fired—depending who you ask) and sued Rubio for assault. If Rubio was taking meetings to discuss joining The X Factor or La Voz Kids during that time period, you can bet her personal assistant probably knew about them.