Washington residents who are fans of British humor may remember John Cleese of Monty Python fame. However, the funnyman is no longer laughing after running out of money to pay for a high-priced divorce from his third wife. Cleese's multi-million dollar divorce from 2008 has forced him to take some unorthodox measures to earn money.
For example, Cleese went out on a comedy tour, named the "Alimony Tour". He also moved to Monaco in search of lower taxes. Now, he plans to sell memorabilia from "Monty Python" and "Fawlty Towers," two British sitcoms in which he starred.
Cleese and his third wife were married for 16 years and had no children together. Despite being British, the divorce was settled in the United States - more specifically a California court. The settlement awarded his wife $13 million in assets. Cleese must also pay close to $1 million each year until 2016 in alimony.
Alimony is a form of spousal support that aims to balance out the financial situation between a high wage earner and a spouse who is unemployed or makes significantly less money. Many things are taken into consideration, including the length of the marriage and the ages and mental and physical health of the spouses. The couple's standard of living is also considered.
During the couple's marriage, Cleese may have been a high wage earner. However, at 72 years old, Cleese has been struggling to keep up financially. He claims his net worth has plummeted. However, if his ex-wife was accustomed to a certain standard of living while they were together, then she is legally entitled to maintain it after their divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, "John Cleese, 'Monty Python' Actor, Selling TV And Film Memorabilia To Defray Divorce Costs," Jan. 22, 2013