Fawlty Towers star set for divorce

Foreign Divorce Jurisdictions

21.08.2009

John Cleese is to finalise a divorce from his third wife within the next two weeks, at a cost of more that £12 million.

The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star has reached an agreement with Alyce Eichelberger which will see her receive £8 million in assets and a further £610,000 per year for the next seven years.

His spokesman said the divorce papers have been lodged with Santa Barbara Superior Court in California and the judge should sign them off in the next week to 10 days.

A source close to Cleese said the divorce settlement is "extortionate".

"The numbers that have been awarded to her are pretty extortionate, particularly bearing in mind there are no children involved in the marriage," the source said.

Cleese has retained a sense of humour about the break-up, joking: "I got off lightly. Think what I'd have had to pay Alyce if she'd contributed anything to the relationship."

He is currently preparing material for a new tour due to open in the US at the end of October.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Kevin Harris-James from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This case demonstrates the anomalies of foreign divorce jurisdictions. Had the divorce been in England and Wales she would not have received such a generous settlement."