11:03 18 August 2009
'Monty Python' star John Cleese has been forced to agree to a divorce settlement of £12.5m with his third wife.
This deal is set to make his ex-wife Alyce Faye Eichelberger become richer than he is.
Cleese will relinquish £8m in cash and assets followed by £612,000 per year for the next seven years, despite the fact that there are no children to support in the split.
It is estimated that Cleese's overall wealth will fall to around £10m after the divorce's settlements have been paid.
The 'Fawtly Towers' star and Oscar nominated screenwriter behind 'A Fish Called Wanda' refused to let his financial troubles impact his sense of humour. Cleese stated: "I got off lightly. Think what I'd have had to pay Alyce if she'd contributed anything to the relationship."
The payout is the culmination of a 19-month battle in the U.S. courts.
Psychotherapist Miss Eichelberger, 64, was the third Mrs Cleese. She originally claimed £900,000-a-year maintenance, two houses and half of his earnings since they married in 1992.
Her lawyer was Fiona Shackleton (who has represented Prince Charles and Sir Paul McCartney) in the British end of the case.
In March a judge in America decreed Miss Eichelberger's claim as excessive and slashed the interim payments he had been paying from £106,000 a month to £51,000.
Cleese split from his first wife and fellow 'Fawlty Towers' star Connie Booth in 1978 and handed over around £2.5million to second wife Barbara Trentham after their divorce in 1990.
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