¨The day he settled everything with Linda, he began to treat me like dirt again,¨ she says.
After a custody hearing last month, Elena says, she became concerned that she and her lawyer were no match for McMahan´s legal team. Since then, she has hired a new lawyer who, she says, is more aggressive and who intends to subpoena Linda. Even though a judge appointed a guardian for the two small children, Elena says her greatest fear is that her husband´s wealth will buy him custody of Vladimir and Elizabeth.
Telling her story now, she hopes, will persuade McMahan to stop waging war with her in family court. She wants sole custody of the two children -- she wants his visits with them to be supervised.
¨I am not fighting him because of the money,¨ she says. ¨Nothing could be worse for me than to lose these kids. I cannot imagine for them to be with him alone.¨
It isn´t the first time, she says, that she has worried about losing control of her children. During their 2004 divorce action, Elena says McMahan showed up hand in hand with Linda. ¨He wanted me to be deported to the Ukraine... She was with him. He wanted to take my kids and raise them with Linda.¨
Elena says it was her affidavit that forced McMahan to give up that plan. ¨Only those pictures saved me.¨
Today, McMahan alleges in court documents that he fears Elena will run with the children to Ukraine (a two-hour flight from Dubai), and he won a court order that requires Elena to stay within 90 miles of New York City. He also refuses to allow her to move to the Brighton Beach penthouse in Little Russia, where she says she feels safer.
Now, she says, McMahan plans to leave the country altogether because the publication of ¨Daddy´s Girl¨ embarrassed him from Wall Street to Fisher Island.
Former McMahan Securities executive Michael Shillan, who recently won an arbitration case against McMahan for back pay, says Elena is right about McMahan´s business suffering after his affair with Linda went public.
¨I don´t know if anyone really understands all of his businesses,¨ Shillan says. ¨I have a pretty good sense of what he is worth. When I left, he had about a $200 million to $250 million net worth.¨ But Shillan believes that the hedge fund McMahan manages has shrunk from about $4 billion to half that, in part because of the story and also because, at about the same time, the convertible securities market took a hit. Also in September, the hedge fund called Amaranth Advisors LLC dropped to $3 billion from $9 billion in one week because of its heavy investment in natural gas futures.
¨Let´s face it, after your story came out and it was reprinted in quite a few places, that´s really not the kind of guy you want managing your money,¨ Shillan says.
¨My personal experience is once you get on Bruce´s bad side, he tends to never forgive and forget, even when he´s wrong,¨ says Shillan, who was once close to McMahan.
But Elena believes there is one person McMahan could forgive -- Linda. She mentions the photograph of Linda that her father keeps in a gold frame at the Pelham estate.
¨I wouldn´t be surprised if they make up.¨