One of Orange County’s biggest fortunes, generated by Pimco co-founder Bill Gross, is being split up in a divorce that has turned bitter and changed the makeup of the family’s influential charitable foundation.
Court documents, including a restraining order, show growing acrimony between Bill and Sue Gross, even as they’ve agreed to at least some of the financial aspects of their parting.
The fighting also has prompted Sue Gross to step down from from the board of the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation to form her own as-yet unnamed charity. It is unclear how her absence will affect the family organization, of which Bill Gross once described her as “the boss.” The foundation, with reported assets of $355 million, has helped finance causes as diverse as UC Irvine’s nursing program and Doctors Without Borders.
Days before the divorce was finalized, Oct. 6, Bill Gross, 72, was granted a temporary restraining order that bars 67-year-old Sue Gross from approaching him or entering properties where he is living or working. The order also calls for Sue Gross to stay away from her ex-husband’s girlfriend, Amy Schwartz.
“Sue’s escalating harassment of me and my employees has crossed the line into danger and my inability to feel safe in my own home,” Bill Gross said in a court declaration filed in January.
A representative for Sue Gross responded by saying Bill Gross was the aggressor: “The last year has been painful … since she became the target of Bill’s bullying and threatening behavior in the divorce proceedings. Sadly, as (was) heavily documented around his departure from Pimco, Bill has clearly suffered from paranoia and rage since well before … the separation.”
Attorneys for both sides did not return calls seeking comment.