Arpad Busson took the stand in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday (17.01.17) as part of his custody battle with the ‘Kill Bill’ actress over four-year-old Luna and explained under questioning he had made numerous attempts to care for the little girl overnight since her birth, but had been repeatedly blocked by her mother.
Asked by his own attorney, Peter Bronstein, about attempts he had made to arrange visits with Luna, he said: “It wasn’t difficult, it was impossible – it was constantly denied.
“I asked the mother to have an overnight. I asked for Luna to come down to the Bahamas. I asked in May, there was understanding I would have her in summer. It just went on and on…”
The millionaire businessman also criticised the 46-year-old actress for not allowing Luna to have a French passport.
He said: “It’s only since we have been separated that she has refused to give the signature to get her a French passport.
“She would be able to live in Europe without having immigration papers, she would be a European national and she would enjoy all the benefits a French citizen enjoys under the sovereignty of France… I don’t see any downfall to having a second passport.”
However, he did praise his former partner – who he split from in 2014 after seven years together – for doing a “very good job” in choosing their daughter’s school and changing paediatricians after he was uncomfortable during one visit.
The 53-year-old French financier – who lives in London and the Bahamas – spoke of how important it was to him that Luna spent time at his homes, and also learned about the country of his birth.
He also detailed the relationship she has with his sons, Arpad Jr., 18, and 13-year-old Aurelius, who he has with former partner Elle Macpherson.
He said: “She has a very good relationship with both of them. A very warm, friendly, caring relationship with her brothers.
When asked how many times she had been together with them, he added: “Not enough.”
And he explained that he has a “very friendly” relationship with the former model and admitted they have always put the kids first.
He said: “Even in our difficult times, we managed to have shared decision-making with our kids.
“It wasn’t always the case. We had difficult times especially when we had issues on relocation but it’s very amicable, very supportive, very friendly.”
At present, the businessman takes a suite of rooms at The Mark hotel when he visits Luna in New York, but the judge, Justice Matthew F. Cooper, suggested Arpad – who cannot be in the US for more than 120 days for tax reasons and finds it difficult to travel after having part of his lung removed – should have a home in the city to create stability for his little girl.
He replied: “I don’t spend enough days’ access to Luna to justify it.”
But he admitted he would consider the possibility if he were granted a block of time with the youngster.
Earlier in the day, Uma took the stand and was quizzed about her drinking habits by Arpad’s lawyer, but the judge blocked the line of questioning as the businessman had refused to answer the same questions for court-appointed psychologist, Dr Sara Weiss and insisted it would be “bad for the child” to read such details online in the future.
Also on the stand on Tuesday was Arpad’s oldest son, who spoke of the close relationship he and his brother enjoy with Luna and praised their dad as an “active and attentive father”.
Uma instructed her lawyers not to cross-examine the teenager, and was seen embracing him after the hearing.
The former couple’s nanny, Amalia Mourad Korczowski was also called as a witness.
The pair will return to court on Thursday (19.01.17).