John Cleese gets a good thrashing in divorce

July 26, 2011

Whenever we think about how we, in the UK, have it bad when it comes to divorce we should spare a thought for our American cousins, and indeed the Brits who live under, and abide by, their laws. One such Brit is John Cleese who, had he lived in the UK, would have had to split his assets fairly between himself and his ex wife and they pay a percentage of his earnings to the CSA for the upkeep of his children.

However, John – one of the finest British comedy actors ever to grace the screen and a national treasure – is being forced to carry on working well into his seventies, just to pay the alimony and child support required of him following his third, yes third, divorce.

John’s last divorce has apparently cost him £12.5 million, and he claims it has left him penniless. So broke is he, and due to the fact that he also has to pay his latest ex-wife a ‘wage’, that he has embarked on a new comedy tour in order to pay the money – dubbed his ‘alimony tour’.

For someone who has given us the brilliant Monty Python, and then the stupendous Fawlty Towers, it’s a disgrace that this man has to work into his seventies just to pay money to ex-wives who want to continue living ‘in the manner to which they have grown accustomed’ due to his genius and success. Yet, the man who played Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, possibly the greatest ever UK sitcom, is working himself into an early grave in the name of money.

Fawlty Towers was so successful, so madcap, that you can even experience the insanity of staying at the hotel and being served by an incompetent Manuel and a dictatorial Basil yourself with one of the many Fawlty Towers Dinner Shows that are held throughout the country – if someone misunderstanding your order or failing to know what a Waldorf Salad actually is appeals to you.

Perhaps John Cleese himself should go to one? It would take his mind off the money he has to earn to just to pay for his ex-wives.

Comments

  • KMcQ80 says:

    His fault for marrying an American.

  • John says:

    Do you think he will see the funny side of it?

  • Mick says:

    If John Cleese had chosen to get married here in the UK and pay tax here like the rest of us do at our tax rates, maybe just maybe his fortune wouldnt have been so great for him to have to pay out such a kings ransom in the first place. Yes he is a talented man and what ever you may think, he still has more than one home. He isnt exactly on skid row is he! He lives as a tax exile so i suppose he can take comfort in the fact that what hes handing over isnt a nett amount after tax.

  • RKSilipo says:

    Cleese much have had a very bad lawyer. A good one would have secured an end date to both child support and alimony.

    His situation is unusual under California law (assuming the marriage referred to took place in California when he was teaching there). It is rare now that women receive alimony for many years; they are expected to earn a living if they are capable of doing so. And child support is a separate issue from alimony, always.

    Cleese has an option to petition the court to re-examine the terms of the divorce at any time– especially if his circumstances have changed. Whining and complaining gets him nowhere. If he were really in dire straits, he would take action. I suspect that he dies see the funny side, so to speak, and is capitalizing on his perceived bad luck in this tour he’s doing. Last time I saw him on TV he looked extremely fit and was as sharp as ever. He looks a very, very long way from the grave.

    As for American vs. US income tax: The highest tax rate in the UK is 50%. The highest in the US is 60%. So who pays more?

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