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"Write something worth reading or do something worth writing" A blog by Amy Willis, a multimedia journalist based in London

The Heather Mills effect

You’ve got to feel bad for John Cleese, poor guy. He has just walked away from his last marriage with less than half of what he had before. Yes, his American psychotherapist ex-wife Faye Eichelberger, who was his third wife, now has more wealth than him after gaining a hefty £12m.

The reason? Well, she said that since Cleese was a “world-renowned celebrity” she was used to “being entertained by royalty and dignitaries in castles”. This sounds all to reminiscent of Heather Mills’s failed claim with Sir Paul McCartney. Clearly the Steel Magnolia – otherwise known as lawyer Fiona Shackleton – was taking notes. Ms Mills may have failed her attempt to cash in by saying ‘i’m used to glitz and glamour’ but the Steel Magnolia, who represented Ms Eichelberger in this case, has succeeded.

Heather Mills

Heather Mills

This is a a worrying precedent to set. Why should a partner get more than half just because they are used to dining in castles? If I walked into a job interview and demanded the highest wage in the office because ‘I am used to it’ they would quite rightly laugh at me all the way to the door.

Fair financial settlements are justified for those who have contributed to the relationship. Those who have stood by their partner through thick and thin, who have offered support when their partner’s career is dwindling, but not this money grabbing madness. Let’s not let the Heather Mill’s effect spread any further and nip it in the bud while we can.


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