After Clearwater Beach arts patrons divorce, court asked for forced eviction

in Local Courts/Top Headlines by
Ludmilla Ribakova, ex-wife of Bruce Dandrew

After completing their divorce, a Clearwater couple — well-known as local art patrons — are waging a legal battle over eviction from the former marital home.

Clearwater Beach resident Bruce Leo Dandrew, 76, is a former president of a company called Dedicated Transportation. In 2006, Dandrew married Ludmilla Ribakova, 58, a native of Latvia and also a current resident of Clearwater Beach. Each had a child from a prior marriage.

Since 2009, the Dandrews donated thousands of photographs to the Museum of Fine Arts of St. Petersburg. A 2011 article from The Photographic Art Society called the Dandrew-Drapkin Collection “one of the most expansive photography collections in American private hands.”

The MFA continues to feature the collection in exhibitions.

In addition to owning a $2.1 million Odessa property, Bruce and Ludmilla Dandrew lived in a three-story, 6,586-square-foot waterfront mansion in Clearwater Beach appraised at nearly $2.3-million. Purchased in 2005, Bruce demolished the existing structure, building the current home.

Bruce Dandrew filed for divorce twice, in 2016 and 2017, with a final judgment issued February 17.

Court records of the divorce filings show a prenuptial agreement struck in 2006, which would have Bruce retain sole ownership of the Clearwater Beach home in the case of divorce. At that time, Bruce claimed his net worth was $24 million with an annual income of $5 million.

In a settlement dated May 2016, Bruce agreed to pay Ludmilla $1.1-million, allowing her to keep the couple’s 2012 Mercedes GL 550. However, he kept sole ownership of his real estate holdings and several other assets.

Nevertheless, a month after finalizing the divorce, Bruce Dandrew claims ex-wife Ludmilla is refusing leave the Clearwater Beach marital home, even though the agreement states he is the sole owner and she is no longer welcome.

Bruce is asking the court to help evict his ex-wife, as well as give compensation for any damage Ludmilla might have inflicted on the property and his possessions.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.