Fortune Diminished by Divorce, Cleese Returns to Stage

Nov 30, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Actor John Cleese recently spoke out about the cost of his 2008 divorce.

Demonstrating the value of a prenuptial agreement and illustrating the long-lasting effects divorce can have, actor John Cleese recently acknowledged the ways his costly 2008 divorce has impacted his life.

Speaking to Reader's Digest U.K., Cleese said his split with his third wife, Alyce Faye Eichelberger, spurred him to return to the stage to make money, despite his preference for writing.

"I prefer writing, but it pays much less, so I have to keep performing," Cleese said, referring to his self-described "alimony tour."

Under the terms of the divorce settlement, Cleese paid Eichelberger about $18.7 million. In addition to cash payments, Eichelberger won property in New York City and London. The settlement prompted the Huffington Post headline, "John Cleese's Divorce Leaves Third Wife Richer Than He Is."

At the time, Cleese told London's Daily Telegraph, "What I find so unfair is that if we both died today, her children would get much more than mine."

Cleese won fame as a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python and a cast member on the British television show "Fawlty Towers." He was nominated for a screenwriting Academy Award for the 1989 film "A Fish Called Wanda."