Jocelyn Wildenstein

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Jocelyn Wildenstein
Jocelynnys Dayannys da Silva Bezerra Périsset

1945 or 1946 (age 78–79)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Known forExtensive facial surgeries
(m. 1978; div. 1999)

Jocelyn Alice Wildenstein[1] (née Jocelyne Périsset; born 1945/1946)[2] is a Swiss socialite[3] known for her extensive cosmetic surgery, resulting in her catlike appearance; her 1999 high-profile divorce from billionaire art dealer and businessman Alec Wildenstein;[4][5] and her extravagant lifestyle and subsequent bankruptcy filing.

Early life and relationships[edit]

Jocelyn Périsset was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1945 or 1946.[2][6] Her father Armand Périsset (died 12 March 1997 in Kenya) worked in a sporting goods store and her mother Liliane Périsset was a housewife.[2] She began dating Swiss Cyril Piguet, producer of the 1964 film Un commerce tranquille, at the age of 17.[7] She later lived in Paris with Italian French filmmaker Sergio Gobbi.[8] While there, she became a skilled hunter and pilot.[3]

Périsset was introduced to Alec N. Wildenstein, of the wealthy family of renowned art dealers,[9] by Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi at a shooting weekend at the Wildenstein African ranch "Ol Jogi" in 1977.[10][6] Périsset and Wildenstein eloped to Las Vegas on 30 April 1978[6] and had two children together.[11] There were suspicions that she may have been a prostitute before meeting Wildenstein, but it has never been proven.[6]

The Wildensteins' divorce in 1999[4][10] was not amicable.[12] Jocelyn walked in on her husband and a 21-year-old Russian model in her bedroom at the Wildenstein New York home, and he threatened Jocelyn with a gun.[13][14] This resulted in a night in jail for Alec Wildenstein.[14] The presiding judge, Marilyn Diamond, received death threats in the mail during the proceedings.[15] During her divorce, the judge stipulated that she could not use any alimony payments for further cosmetic surgery.[16] Jocelyn enlisted the services of Ed Rollins[8][17] for public relations assistance and at various times both Bernard Clair[8][18] and Kenneth Godt[19] for legal counsel. Wildenstein began dating fashion designer Lloyd Klein in 2003.[20] The couple split in 2016.[20]

Cosmetic surgery[edit]

Wildenstein has had extensive cosmetic surgeries to her face.[21] Her catlike appearance[22] has led media outlets to nickname her "Catwoman", "The Lion Queen", and "The Bride of Wildenstein".[23] She denies having excessive plastic surgery, citing her Swiss heritage,[22] but admitted to a multi-million dollar surgery to make her eyes more cat-like[24] which she did with her husband.[6] According to Alec Wildenstein, "She was thinking that she could fix her face like a piece of furniture. Skin does not work that way. But she wouldn’t listen".[6]


Wildenstein is known for her extravagant life. She once calculated her yearly telephone bill at $60,000 and food and wine costs at $547,000.[9] Wildenstein received $2.5 billion in her divorce settlement (although this amount has been rumored to be as high as $3.8 billion[25]) and $100 million each year for the following 13 years.[26] The judge stipulated that she could not use any alimony payments for further cosmetic surgery.[16] Following her divorce, Wildenstein sold the marital home in New York to real estate developer Janna Bullock for $13 million.[27]


  1. ^ "The Crazy Life of Billionaire Socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein". MSN. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Konigsberg 1997, p. 34.
  3. ^ a b McCracken 2008, p. 25.
  4. ^ a b Dunford 2009, p. 181.
  5. ^ DeMello 2007, pp. 13, 36.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Jocelyne's Revenge". Vanity Fair. 1998-03-09. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  7. ^ Konigsberg 1997, p. 35.
  8. ^ a b c Carlin, Peter Ames (January 26, 1998). "Surgical Strike". People Magazine. 49 (3). ISSN 0093-7673. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Felder & Victor 2011.
  10. ^ a b Faith, Nicholas (February 22, 2008). "Alec Wildenstein: Art dealer and racehorse owner who divorced in a blaze of publicity". The Independent. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  11. ^ Heigl, Alex (9 Dec 2016). "The Famous Life and Face of Jocelyn Wildenstein". People. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  12. ^ Crowley 2005, pp. 164–165.
  13. ^ "People & Places: Art dealer admits he pulled gun on wife". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. September 9, 2000. p. A2. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  14. ^ a b Konigsberg 1997, p. 32.
  15. ^ Felder 2004, pp. 122–126.
  16. ^ a b Portmann 2004, p. 66.
  17. ^ Grove, Lloyd (June 9, 2000). "The Reliable Source". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  18. ^ Gupte, Pranay (May 17, 2005). "It's Personal for a Top NYC Divorce Lawyer". The Sun. New York. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  19. ^ "Jocelyn gives bankrupt beau the brush-off". New York Post. November 10, 1999. p. 30. Retrieved February 4, 2012. (subscription required) for full content.
  20. ^ a b "Jocelyn Wildenstein's Boyfriend Lloyd Klein Reveals What Happened the Night of the Attack".
  21. ^ Jones 2008, p. 123.
  22. ^ a b McCarthy, Tyler (February 13, 2018). "'Catwoman' Jocelyn Wildenstein denies having any plastic surgery, cites her Swiss heritage". Fox News.
  23. ^ "The crazy life of billionaire socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein". PressFrom - AU.
  24. ^ Wet, Nici de. "Stop posting fake pictures of me, rants Catwoman who claims she's never had plastic surgery". You. Retrieved 2023-03-08.
  25. ^ Corbett, Rachel (2023-08-23). "The Inheritance Case That Could Unravel an Art Dynasty". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-09-14.
  26. ^ Petridou, Ria (September 29, 2011). "Queens of plastic: Jocelyn Wildenstein". Fashion Love. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  27. ^ Greene, Penelope (July 26, 2007). "Buy High, Sell Higher". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2012.

Bibliography – books[edit]

Bibliography – periodicals[edit]