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Mar 30 2010 | 1:44pm ET
Patricia Cohen has taken her battle against her ex-husband—SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen—into the pages of New York magazine.
In a long profile of their marriage—which ended in divorce in 1990—and subsequent relationship, Patricia attacked the hedge fund billionaire as a “bully.”
“I’ve been punished for 20 years,” she told New York. “I will never understand his anger, the turning on me. It’s really, really, really crazy. It’s so painful for me.”
Certainly, Cohen’s feelings toward his ex can’t be helped by her recent crusade against him. Patricia Cohen last year sued her ex-husband, who she married in 1979, for $300 million, accusing him of insider-trading, tax evasion and hiding millions from her during their divorce. That lawsuit is currently on ice—temporarily, Patricia and her lawyer, Gaytri Kachroo, say—but increased the spotlight on the secretive firm, which also saw several former employees caught up in the Galleon Group insider-trading scandal amidst several other probes of allegedly illicit trading at the $12 billion Stamford, Conn., firm.
But Patricia Cohen doesn’t seem interested in just the money—although the New York article paints a portrait of a woman who is somewhat less-than-good with money; in 1991, a court battle for more money revealed an $80,000 bill from Bergdorf Goodman—but in making her ex-husband squirm. She accuses him of miserliness, disinterest in their two children, as well as mental and, in at least one case, physical abuse.
She claims Steve Cohen hit her one, an accusation he does not deny. In an affidavit, Cohen admitted to “one physical confrontation” that led to the police being called, but claimed the fight was “provoked” by Patricia.
“He used to come home beat-up, impatient at the end of his wits,” she said. “He could be demanding, hypercritical, and a screamer; if he had a bad day, he’d explode.”
She also says Steve was a less-than-enthusiastic father, seeing the kids as something of a chore. After the divorce, things didn’t get better, according to Patricia. In 2002, his lawyer sent her a letter saying that he would only pay for “books required specifically in the course syllabus” for his kids. “You will be expected to provide the syllabus.”
In another letter that year, the lawyer wrote, “Mr. Cohen has previously requested and wishes to reiterate that requests should not come directly to him from the children.” Steve Cohen is said to believe Patricia has turned their two kids against him.
Patrica also deeply resents that her ex-husband’s second wife, Alexandra, holds her purse strings.
For his part, Steve Cohen sees nothing but petty revenge in his ex-wife’s eyes. “She’s a terrorist on a mission to make my life a living hell,” he has told friends.
“Having been married to him, I know what he’s made of and it’s not much,” she shoots back. “He’s a coward. The twisted man is at heart a wimp.”