Lawyers, auctioneers, and $640 million: a round-up of highlights of $550 million divorce settlement

A Washington-area couple’s divorce in 2016 generated headlines and more than $640 million in art that was sold off as part of the settlement, according to court documents.

Jeff and Annette Sohus said they had agreed to the sale of all works of art, which included 62 drawings, 177 sculptures, and 409 paintings by Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Jackson Pollock, Louise Nevelson, Ed Ruscha, Norman Rockwell, Elizabeth Murray, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, Lucio Fontana, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jeff Koons, and Franz Kline, in exchange for a $550 million cash settlement.

The Sohuses’ lawyers said the divorce settlement was the second largest public or private divorce settlement in history. The transaction also led to a $100 million restoration of a historic mansion on 8 acres in Tysons Corner, Va., near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, court documents said.

The Sohuses, who made their fortune in the construction business, lived in Aspen, Colo., and had strong connections to the D.C. area. Jeff Sohus, 72, died in 2016, while recovering from heart surgery, an autopsy reported.

The couple had separated in 2007 and both were found dead in their home in Woodbridge, Va., that same year. The Sohuses had been married more than 50 years.

Jeff Sohus was declared legally dead following a court order. His signature was not found on the divorce settlement documents. Annette Sohus, 70, died a few months later.

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