BOSTON – Lawyers for Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric Co. (GE), have filed a motion seeking to throw out his estranged wife's assessment of how much GE pays to support his lavish retirement lifestyle.
The motion comes the week after Jane Welch, who is being sued for divorce by her husband of 13 years, caused a stir by detailing in an affidavit a host of expenses -- including use of a corporate jet, country club memberships and rent for a New York City apartment -- that GE has paid for Welch after he left the company last year.
According her affidavit, the company even paid for groceries and toiletries at the New York apartment.
The Welches separated earlier this year after public disclosures that he was having an affair.
According to a copy of the memorandum filed by lawyers for Jack Welch, Jane Welch's affidavit is "a forty page brief of legal argument, narratives, reports and opinions rendered by undisclosed expert witnesses of unknown qualifications; and projections of future, imaginary and speculative expenses."
Samuel Schoonmaker III, one of Welch's lawyers, argues in the filing that the entire affidavit should be made unavailable for review by the court.
A Connecticut judge will hold a hearing next week on the motion, which will be followed late next month by a hearing on Jane Welch's request for more financial support from Welch.
She is receiving $35,000 a month from Welch and has certain use of the couple's Connecticut and New York homes. But she has argued in court papers the amount is "patently inadequate" to maintain the lifestyle she enjoyed during her marriage.
Jane Welch's attorneys have subpoenaed GE for details of exactly how much it spent on the Welches expenses. The lawyers argue the financial information is essential if the court is to determine a fair settlement amount for their client.
A spokesman for GE said the company had reached a general agreement on what documents to hand over and said Jane Welch's lawyers would have the documents in a matter of days.
Last week, GE said the agreement on Jack Welch's expenses had been disclosed and that it had benefited shareholders.
Disclosures in the high-profile divorce case have sparked anger among investors and launched a raft of news articles about extravagant pay, bonuses and other benefits paid by U.S. corporations to former executives.
In some cases these benefits, which are usually not fully disclosed to shareholders, amount to millions of dollars charged to firms each year.