Phil Collins’ ex-wife Orianne opens up about suing pop star

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Phil Collins’ ex-wife Orianne opens up about suing pop star

After falling in love, divorcing and reuniting with Phil Collins — only to leave him for another man — Orianne Collins is at odds with her famous ex yet again.

“I was very disappointed,” she told The Post of what she says is his recent decision to leave Little Dreams Foundation, the children’s art, music and sports mentorship charity they started together 22 years ago.

“I guess his people are telling him not to do it, so he’s not doing it, which is a shame because we’ve helped so many people over the years,” said the 47-year-old.

Phil’s lawyer Jeffrey Fisher confirmed that the singer terminated his relationship with the foundation in October 2020, although its web site still promotes his involvement.

She added that it’s over their legal battles, including him having her evicted in January 2021 from the Miami Beach home they once shared — until she moved in her new husband. As The Post previously reported, Orianne split with Phil via text while they were both in the house. (She declined to talk about it for this interview.)

“After being together for 23 years, it’s ridiculous. We are the parents of two kids together,” she said. “These are stupid battles. I think it should have been kept private, instead of going viral in the press. There were so many bad things that were said.”

Orianne Collins is battling her ex-husband, pop star Phil Collins, over proceeds from the sale of a $40 million dollar home. He had previously given her $46 million in their divorce settlement.
Orianne Collins is battling her ex-husband, pop star Phil Collins, over proceeds from the sale of a $40 million dollar home. He had previously given her $47 million in their divorce settlement.
Photos: Mary Beth Koeth; Makeup: Hiara Fernandez; Hair: Michael Sharkey

But Orianne is also hurt by things said about her.

“[Phil’s’] lawyers have been horrible. They are saying that I was the girlfriend of the summer of 2020,” she told The Post. “Come on! I’m the mother of two of his kids. I was married to him, and we got back together. It’s super rude to say that.”

The two, who share sons Nicholas, 20, and Matthew, 17, first got together in 1994, when she was 22 and he was 44. She was working for a capital venture group in Lausanne and Phil, in town for a concert, was an investor in one of the company’s clients. Orianne, who was born in Switzerland and is of Thai heritage, was tasked with picking up the singer at the airport.

Orianne wed Phil Collins married in 1999, divorced in 2008, got back together in 2016 — and split in 2020, when she married another man while living with Phil.
Orianne wed Phil Collins married in 1999, divorced in 2008, got back together in 2016 — and split in 2020, when she married another man while living with Phil.
REUTERS

During the 30-minute drive to the hotel, she played tour guide and shared details about the villages they were passing. “When we arrived at the hotel, he asked if I could come with him to the rehearsal to translate,” Orianne recalled.

There was an ulterior motive. “Phil had fallen in love with me in the car. For me, it was the next day,” she said. There was a mix-up after the concert, and her jacket was left in his car. “Phil called and asked me to meet him at the hotel. I told him not to worry about my jacket and to just leave it with the driver.

“But the next day at the office, my phone rang all day long. ‘Can you come and pick up your jacket? Can you come and pick up your jacket?’ I was thinking to myself, ‘He’s a very famous pop artist. He must have a girlfriend in every port.’

Orianne said her last marriage, to Thomas Bates, lasted just a year because it was purely for travel arrangements.
Orianne said her last marriage, to Thomas Bates, lasted just a year because it was purely for travel arrangements.
Photos: Mary Beth Koeth; Makeup: Hiara Fernandez; Hair: Michael Sharkey

“And when I came out of my office, my ex-boyfriend was there. He gave me a punch in the face because he didn’t want me to leave him.”

Orianne ended up calling Phil and saying she couldn’t meet him because of the alleged attack.

“And Phil said, ‘I’m going to send someone to sort him out.’ He called my mom, who was cooking at the time, to get the number of the house where I was staying. She was like, ‘Phil Collins is calling, oh my god.’ And she went next door to my grandmother’s house to get the number of my friend. By the time she came back, the kitchen was on fire!”

Phil and Orianne share sons Nicholas (from far left) and Matthew.
Phil and Orianne share sons Nicholas (from far left) and Matthew.
Alamy

It all worked out, though. After that, Orianne said, “We were always together. The beginning was crazy with the press and paparazzi. I had to wear disguises to see him. One time I wore my hair up in a hat and used a fake mustache. There was even security for me because paparazzi was camping out in front of my house.”

The fact that Phil was still married to his second wife, Jill Tavelman, added to the public drama.

When Phil and Orianne wed in 1999, he came with three children from his previous marriages: daughter Joely, now 49, and son Simon, 45, with first wife Andrea Bertorelli; and daughter Lily, now 32, with Tavelman.

She now lives in a $6 million home in Fort Lauderdale.
She now lives in a $6 million home in Fort Lauderdale.
Photos: Mary Beth Koeth; Makeup: Hiara Fernandez; Hair: Michael Sharkey

Lily, of course, is now a famous actress starring on the Netflix series “Emily in Paris.”

Lily was on 10 at the time Phil married Orianne, and spent summers together with her dad and stepmom in Switzerland.

“I taught Lily how to drive,” Orianne said. “Above our house we had farms with empty roads. It was a stick shift and when she started the car it went ‘Pop!’ We were laughing so hard. It was nice to have her with us, and she has a great relationship with her brothers. I’m not with her father anymore, but I always loved this girl like she was my own.”

“I always loved this girl like she was my own,” Orianne said of former stepdaughter Lily Collins (right), star of “Emily in Paris.”
“I always loved this girl like she was my own,” Orianne said of former stepdaughter Lily Collins (right), star of “Emily in Paris.”
Stephanie Branchu/Netflix

And, yes, Orianne is a big “Emily” fan: “The series is very cute … I loved the clothes in the first season. She was dressed in Chanel, and it was amazing. In the second season, the outfits are crazy, completely out there. I prefer the first season. I think it was very her.”

Phil and Orianne divorced in 2008, and she received a $47 million settlement from him. She went on to have a son, Andrea, now 10, with banker Charles Fouad Mejjati.
In 2016, she and Mejjati split and she reunited with Phil .

“When I was leaving Charles, Phil and I decided to move into this new house together. The name of the house was Fil d’Or, after both our names. In French, it means thread of gold. It was our family house,” Orianne said. “We chose it together and we were living there together. I designed the furniture; I designed the kitchen.”

Orianne had moved back in with Phil after separating from her second husband.
Orianne had moved back in with Phil after separating from her second husband.
Photos: Mary Beth Koeth; Makeup: Hiara Fernandez; Hair: Michael Sharkey

They separated again in August 2020, after she began seeing — and quickly married — Bates. To hear her tell it, the whole thing was a lark.

Orianne said and Bates had a quickie wedding, performed by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas, so that he could travel with her to Switzerland during pandemic lockdowns.
“In order to fly to Switzerland, we had to be related, otherwise he would not be able to go,” she said. “But it was supposed to be canceled right after. It was really for travel purposes more than anything else.”

After the new couple returned to the Miami Beach home, Phil, who had gone off to England, moved forward with eviction proceedings.

The Miami home Phil and Orianne once shared was known as Fil D'Or, a portmanteau of their names.
The Miami home Phil and Orianne once shared was known as Fil D’Or, a portmanteau of their names.
realtor.com

While the couple moved out — to a waterfront mansion in Fort Lauderdale — Orianne is now suing Phil for half of the sale price of the Miami home, which went for $39.25 million in January 2021. She claims he had verbally promised it to her.

Fisher, Phil’s lawyer, denied that claim but would not elaborate as it’s an issue in the pending litigation between the former couple.

“This is ridiculous and it’s out of hand,” Orianne told The Post. “You sold the house, give me half of it and that’s it.”

She also split from Bates after just 16 months of marriage and is now trying to make sure he doesn’t get her home, by claiming solo occupancy.

Orianne and Phil Collins attend the 4th Annual Dreaming on the Beach Gala in 2018.
Orianne and Phil Collins attend the 4th Annual Dreaming on the Beach Gala in 2018.
Getty Images

In the divorce filing, Orianne said that the emotional distress of COVID-19 and quarantine caused her to act in ways and do things — like getting married — that were out of character.

There was a rumor that Orianne, who has her OC Jewellery line as well as Magic Oil, a body salve infused with gold and diamond dust, would be one of the new cast members for the reboot of “The Real Housewives of Miami,” which premiered in December.
Indeed, she told The Post: “I did a two-day casting at my home, but I never heard back. It’s very weird.”

Martial arts is still a big part of her life despite being hurt at an exhibition in Paris in 2014 and then paralyzed from the neck down after a botched surgery in Switzerland. When Orianne was told she would never walk again, the news made her contemplate suicide.

Orianne said she considered suicide after being paralyzed from the neck down. Fortunately, it turned out to be temporary.
Orianne said she considered suicide after being paralyzed from the neck down. Fortunately, it turned out to be temporary.

“In Switzerland, you have the right to die,” Orianne explains. “I had all sorts of ideas in my head. ‘How should I go?’ And one day, after nearly three weeks, I felt my little toe on my right side move. So I went into a battle … I had to relearn everything: how to get into the shower, how to dress, how to do makeup, how to drive. I was in a wheelchair for over two years. But in 2017, I climbed the Matterhorn, the highest peak in Switzerland.”

The experience led her to create the Never Give Up Foundation, which assists people all over the world with their finances, physical rehabilitation and therapy after spinal cord injuries.

Now, while she’s facing her latest legal fight, Orianne is preparing to climb Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe, in 2023.  “Always follow your dreams,” she said. “When you think like that, you can achieve so many things in life.”

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