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Saturday May 5, 2012

NEW YORK -- She has one of the world’s most famous faces. He’s a billionaire fashion CEO. And their 5-year-old son is at the center of a bitter, big-money child support fight.

Supermodel Linda Evan gelista and ex-boyfriend Francois-Henri Pinault, a French business tycoon now married to actress Salma Hayek, faced off Thursday in the utilitarian environs of a Manhattan family court.

She wants a court to make him pitch in for child-rearing expenses she has tallied at nearly $50,000 a month.

The trial is offering a public glimpse into the lives of the boldface and beautiful.

As Pinault lawyer David Aaronson put it in an opening statement Thursday, it’s "different than a lot of cases. These people have more money than lots of people."

Although Evangelista, 46, the 1980s and 1990s magazine-cover fixture who famously quipped that supermodels "don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day," willingly paid all the boy’s expenses for most of his life, her roughly $1.8 million-a-year income took a major hit last year as a contract with L’Oreal ended, said her lawyer, William Beslow.

"It became necessary for her to go to the bullpen and ask the father for help," he testified.