By Norrie Ross
Reference source: The Daily Telegraph24 May 2008
Underbelly star Vince Colosimo and his former partner, Neighbours actress Jane Hall, are involved in a vicious court battle after they parted bitterly in 2007.
Hall accused Colosimo of offering little assistance in bringing up their five-year-old daughter Lucia Elizabeth.
Colosimo wants 90 per cent of the $890,000 value of their Melbourne house, saying he contributed most of the deposit from the sale of another property and his friends and relatives helped renovate the home, erected fences and paved the back yard.
In his defence and counter-claim Colosimo said he had to care for Lucia and continue his full-time career while Hall was admitted to hospital with post-natal depression.
Last month Hall, 37, told The Australian Women's Weekly she was getting on with her life as a single mum and rated Colosimo as a good parent.
Colosimo's defence saidThe plaintiff (Hall) was seeing a psychologist in relation to her mood swings, not just about sleeping issues related to the child's reflux.
The defendant (Colosimo) would be responsible for the care of the child when he returned home and was physically and emotionally supportive of the plaintiff.
Colosimo is now seeing Hall's soapie co-star Kym Valentine.
Hall saidIt has taken a while for us to become mates again
In their "who painted what?" battle Hall estimates that as well as the equity in the house, which has a mortgage of $457,000, Colosimo had an unknown amount of superannuation and a Saab valued at $20,000.
The actress who starred in the movies Razzle Dazzle, The Nugget and The Craic as well as TV series' All Together Now and Marshall Law said she painted and decorated the house and planned the renovations.
She has asked the court to assess all of their assets and arrive at a property settlement that is "just and equitable" between them.
The couple bought the house in 2000 for $303,000 and did a major renovation costing $124,550 three years later.
Colosimo plays gangland figure Alphonse Gangitano in the series Underbelly, which is banned in Victoria.
In her writ Hall said she supported Colosimo when he went to the US in 2004 and 2006 to look for work and she turned down acting offers to accompany him.
But in reply Colosimo said the US trip was a holiday for Hall and he secured roles in Boston Legal, The Practice and Without a Trace as a result. He admitted there were occasions when he was unable to meet the mortgage payments "by reason of the cyclical nature of his employment" but said they were now up to date.
The pair both said they currently live in Melbourne's North Fitzroy, at separate addresses.
Mediation has been ordered in the dispute and the case is back in the Supreme Court on September 15.
Editor saidIf defacto relationship property matters end up in the family courts this report may become illegal under Section 121 of the FLA.
Notice, though, that their daughter is named and details about care are provided.
The report is from a Sydney newspaper but one presumes the Supreme Court mentioned is in Victoria. (One may be wrong!)