Saturday, 28 November 2009
The legendary British comedian John Cleese is returning to work after a grossly unfair Divorce settlement orchestrated by the matriarchy's legal lackeys. At 70, he is on tour again. It is said that the Samurai were encouraged to think of death in battle every morning, to prepare them for the day ahead. Anglo-American men need to contemplate Divorce settlements like this every morning, for the same reason...
The Oscar nominated comedy actor is giving his former wife £8 million in cash and assets which include an apartment in New York, a £2 million mews house in fashionable Holland Park in west London, and half a beach house in Santa Barbara in California which is yet to be sold.
Ms Faye Eichelberger, an American psychotherapist, will also receive £600,000 a year for seven years. The papers to finalise the financial settlement were lodged in the courts in California last week.
Cleese, 70, who is in the New Forest writing a barbed one man show to be called Alimony Tour Year One, has revealed his anger at the size of the divorce settlement which will make his former wife, who he was married to for 16 years, richer than him.
He said: “What I find so unfair is that if we both died today, her children would get much more than mine.” He added: “At least I will know in future if a I go out with a lady they will not be after me for my money.” When he met her in 1990 she was living in a third floor council flat in London with two sons from a previous marriage.
His former wife, who is 64, was represented in the legal negotiations by Fiona Shackleton, who is known as the Steel Magnolia because of her sharp negotiating skills. She also acted for the Prince of Wales and Sir Paul McCartney in their respective divorces.
In her divorce testimony, she claimed Cleese was a “world-renowned celebrity” and she was used to “being entertained by royalty and dignitaries in castles”. She claimed half the Monty Python star’s earnings since their 1992 wedding, half his nine properties, and £900,000 a year to live on.
In March a judge in America declared her claim was “excessive” and reduced the interim payments he had been paying from £106,000 a month to £57,000.
Michael Winner, the former film director and acerbic restaurant critic who has been Cleese’s closest friend for 30 years, said: “It is an extraordinary world which means John is left with much less than his former wife even though he is the star who did all the work. The settlement defies human belief. John is extremely cross about it and I don’t blame him. The settlement comes after two years of harrowing legal argument.”
Mr Winner, who accompanied the couple on their honeymoon to St Lucia in 1992, said: “John has worked all his life and will now have to continue working because he has seen a huge chunk of what he has worked for going to his former wife who he rescued from a council flat (Housing Project).”
Cleese, who is also working on a film script, added: “I got off lightly. Think what I’d have had to pay Alyce if she had contributed anything to the relationship.”
In a recent interview the actor said: “In my 70th year I will still be spending two months a year doing work that is of no interest to me and which is probably slightly spiritually depleting in order to feed the beast.”
He has remained friends with his first wife, Connie Booth, who co-wrote and starred in Fawlty Towers and the American actress Barbara Trentham. He has two grown-up daughters with his first two wives. Last year he sold his ranch in California to help pay for the divorce.