Divorce of One of World's Richest Men Entangles American Execs

PHOTO: Vladimir Potanin appears at a news conference held after the announcement of russias black sea resort of sochi as candidate city to host the 2014 winter games, June 2006.

An increasingly contentious divorce in Russia -- involving a billionaire who helped bankroll much of the Winter Olympics in Sochi -- has now ensnared two American businessmen.

Vladimir Potanin's spurned wife, Natalia Potanina, has obtained a U.S. federal judge's approval to compel two New York executives to divulge what they know about her husband's vast wealth.

A spokesperson for Potanin, one of the world's richest men, called the legal move "regrettable," saying the U.S. court system is being used to address "a private family matter" that is "clearly for the Russian courts to resolve."

But an attorney for Potanina, who has been married to the billionaire for 30 years, insisted his client "has been forced" to ask overseas courts for help because she's been kept in the dark about the family's assets.

In fact, much has been in dispute since Potanin filed for divorce in December, including when the marriage fell apart. He claims they separated more than seven years ago. She claims that's just when he started being secretive about their assets.

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