Former E*TRADE chief in bitter breakup

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 16 2001 12:00 AM ET

Kathy Levinson, the former chief operating officer and president of E*TRADE, and her former partner, Jennifer Levinson, are engaged in a fierce who-gets-what battle, the New York Post reports. The Levinsons, who became a poster lesbian couple last year when they gave $300,000 to fight a gay-marriage ban which voters ultimately approved in California, reportedly ended their 19-year relationship last summer when Jennifer moved in with another woman, whose child attends the same school as the Levinsons’ two children. Now Jennifer has filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara [Calif.] County Court charging that Kathy—who in 1999 was one of the highest-paid women in Silicon Valley, with a salary, bonus, and stock-option package worth approximately $15 million—is not living up to the couple’s agreement to split their assets in case of a separation. Jennifer, who met Kathy when the two were stockbrokers at Charles Schwab, was a stay-at-home mom to the couple’s elementary school–age children. She is now living with Sarah Hainstock, who is embroiled in her own divorce battle with her husband, Carl Rudiger. The Hainstock-Rudiger case will be much more clear-cut than the Levinson’s, since California law has a formula for the division of assets in no-fault divorces. No such provisions exist for same-sex partnerships, which the state does not recognize.

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