When it comes to divorce, nobody does it like the Grosses.
Buying up multimillion-dollar properties just to torture each other, pilfering Picassos, dumping dead fish in air vents — there’s no limit to what Bill and Sue Gross will do to exact revenge on one another.
In one corner of the battle is financial titan Bill Gross, who founded PIMCO — the Pacific Investment Management Co. — and built a fortune valued this week by Forbes at $1.5 billion.
In the other is Gross’ ex-wife, Sue, whom he married in 1985.
They lived a life of luxury in New York and in the exclusive Laguna Beach, Calif., enclave of Irvine Cove.
But money can’t always buy happiness, and in 2016, Sue filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Bill lived in the couple’s Irvine Cove compound alone until they finalized the split on Oct. 6, 2017. As part of the settlement, she got the house — and booted Bill.
Sue claimed he had left their home a stinking mess — with empty bottles of malodorous sprays of “puke” and “fart” smells dumped in the trash and dead fish placed in the air vents, according to court documents.
A source close to Bill denied that the property, believed to be worth as much as $36 million, was left in disarray.
In one of the most bizarre parts of the battle, Sue admitted in court that she took a pricey Picasso painting from the wall of their home and replaced it with a replica she painted herself, The Post reported in May.
Irvine Cove gated community in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Apparently, the copy of the 1932 work, “Le Repos” — which sold in May for $36 million at Sotheby’s — was so good that Bill was shocked to learn that Sue still had the real one in her possession after she won a coin flip in 2017 that give her ownership of it.
She cited an e-mail that Bill sent to her as justification for the trick, claiming it instructed her to “take all the furniture and art that you’d like.”
“And so I did,” she said in court.
Although the divorce was finished last year, the war is far from over, as Sue went back to court in June and got a restraining order against her former husband.
She claimed that Bill — who had his own a restraining order against Sue until last year — was hassling her and her family by hiring a private eye to slink around outside her home and her sister’s home in Irvine Cove.
Court documents filed in the restraining-order case, and obtained by The Post this week, revealed that pair have recently been fighting each other as only the mega-wealthy can — by punitively buying property.
In the past two months, Sue forked over $37.8 million for pricey pads in Irvine Cove — just so he couldn’t get his hands on them to begin putting down new roots there, according to court papers and sources.
Bill, 74, has lived in Irvine Cove for 30 years and was itching to entrench himself there again on his own after being booted from their home, sources familiar with the real-estate deals told The Post.
Sue, 68, already resided in Irvine Cove’s tonier Abalone Point community after the divorce settlement granted her the three-property compound that had been the marital pad.
She just wanted to deny her ex the satisfaction of buying a prime property there, according to the sources said.
But Bill recently bought a $36 million, 5,500-square-foot waterfront property — right across the street from Sue’s sister and brother-in-law — as return fire at his ex-wife, according to the court documents.
“With his financial resources, Bill could choose to live practically anywhere in the world,” Sue claims in the Los Angeles state court filing.
“However, he insists upon the very small community that I call home.”
Adding insult to injury, Sue says, she initially bid on the house in an attempt to block Bill from buying it, but ultimately failed to snag the property, even though she was told her offer was higher, because he was willing to pay cash.
Bill once allegedly texted “Sugar,’’ his former pet name for Sue, “Feel peaceful while you can. War of the Roses ahead. And I can predict the winner!!!”
Sue ended up buying two more properties in the neighborhood using a trust, according to real-estate records and sources.
She did this partly to try to buffer herself and her family from Bill — and his alleged “army of spies,” she claims.
A security company hired by Bill has been constantly monitoring Sue, her two sisters and her assistant — making their lives an “unmitigated nightmare,” she says in court documents.
“I am exhausted and beleaguered by this omnipresent interference, and am mortified that my loved ones have been subjected to harassment for no reason other than their relationship with me,” Sue claims in the papers.
Bill has admitted to hiring security but claims it’s only as a defense against Sue — who, he claims, would often arrive unannounced at their former joint home to swipe stuff.
And while the former couple’ three children are all grown, that hasn’t stopped them from going toe-to-toe in what almost seems like a contentious custody battle — over their pets.
Court documents show that they got into a bitter, back-and-forth dispute over who would become the rightful owner of their three cats.
Sue won custody, but Bill managed to score visitation rights — with a veterinary professional being put in charge of transporting the cats.
The former PIMCO head, who moved to Janus Capital in 2014, was granted 24-hour visits with the family felines.
During one visit, Sue allegedly showed up “unannounced” — despite the restraining order against her — and claimed the cats weren’t safe.
“Sue showed up complaining the cats would die because the house was too hot,” explained a source close to Bill. “The cats were fine. They were returned the next day to Sue with a full physical checkup and clearance.”
In December, Sue also decided to cut off funding for the couple’s renowned William and Sue Gross Family Foundation — which has given more than $700 million to charity. The account freeze allegedly cost the organization millions of dollars in tax penalties.
“Sue’s behavior . . . created significant and needless operational hurdles for the directors of the foundation,” foundation lawyer Barry Fink wrote in a court declaration obtained by the Orange County Register newspaper.
At one point, things got so bad that Bill allegedly started sending threatening text messages and e-mails to Sue.
“As to an amicable, high-road divorce — oh sure. You (have affairs) for years . . . Sorry girl. The game is on,” Bill allegedly wrote in one message.
“You are disgusting,” he added.