Niki Lauda‘s widow is suing the Formula One legend’s foundation to the tune of EUR 30 million because the tens of thousands she gets paid monthly is “not enough”.
The dispute over the late three-time Formula One World Drivers’ Champion’s multi-million-dollar inheritance is currently before the Vienna Regional Court in Austria.
Widow Birgit Lauda is suing his foundation in two separate proceedings to demand EUR 30 million (GBP 27 million) from its assets, according to local media.
Birgit, 44, is the mother of Lauda’s 13-year-old twins, Mia and Max.
The Austrian had ensured before his passing in May 2019 that his two families would be provided for in the event of his death.
After news of Birgit’s lawsuits, a close friend told local media: “Niki would turn in his grave!
“Birgit started these proceedings. The rest of the family was totally in agreement with Niki’s regulation, they respect what he wanted and want to defend his inheritance to the last.”
The friend and others close to the late F1 driver believe Birgit is already well taken care of.
The foundation founded by Lauda in 1997 is said to pay her a monthly sum of EUR 20,000 (GBP 18,000).
Furthermore, it is believed to cover the maintenance costs of two villas in Vienna and Ibiza, three cars, salaries for household staff, school fees, and holidays.
Birgit is said to often visit the villa in Ibiza with 55-year-old financial manager Marcus Sieberer, whom she has been in a relationship with since 2021.
The complainant has already suffered a first defeat in court.
After racking up court costs of more than EUR 300,000 (GBP 270,000), her request for legal aid was turned down.
She has refused to comment on the case to local media.
Lauda is the only driver in Formula One history to have been champion for both Ferrari and McLaren.
He famously suffered severe burns to his head and hands and inhaled hot toxic gases that damaged his lungs and blood in a crash in 1976.
He was also an aviation entrepreneur who founded and ran three airlines.
Lauda died in Switzerland aged 70 following a period of ill health.
He has two sons – Lukas, 44, and Mathias, 42 – from his first marriage to Marlene Knaus, 67.
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