A husband asked his wife what she wanted for her 40th birthday
Largest divorce ever in UK
It’s an old joke but a good one nonetheless about a husband who asks his wife what she wants for her birthday.
“Would you like a new sports car?” he asks
“Not really,” replies the wife.
“Well how about a home in the country?” continues the husband.
Again she says “no” and so in desperation the husband asks “Well what would you like then?”
“I’d like a divorce,” answers the wife.
“Sorry, I wasn’t planning to spend that much” replies the husband.
This is probably what the Russian oligarch, Boris Berezovsky is thinking after paying out what is rumoured to be a staggering £150 million plus to his ex – wife, Galina Besharova.
The terms of the settlement are confidential but it is estimated that the total amount could be as much as between £165 and £220 million to include the penthouse near Kensington Place where Besharova currently lives.
The couple met in 1981 when he was a professor of mathematics in Moscow earning approximately £60 a month. He later founded the first Mercedes dealership in the old Soviet Union which he subsequently sold for an estimated £350 million. He became one of the original Russian oligarchs and increased his fortune by investing in oil. He then played a key role in ensuring Vladimir Putin’s victory in the 2000 Russian presidential election but shortly after this, the two men fell out. As a result, Berezovsky was forced to flee Russia and was granted asylum in the UK after Alexander Litvinenko, an officer with the FSB, came forward to say he had been ordered to murder him.
Berezovsky married Besharova in 1991 after divorcing his first wife, Nina. The couple apparently only spent a couple of years together before separating but remained married.
Berezovsky’s fortune is estimated at £550 million and because of the length of the marriage, the starting point for division of the assets would have been a 50 / 50% split. However, it is likely that Berezovsky’s legal team will have argued for a discount based upon the wealth he had built up prior to the marriage and other factors and so Besharova’s split is likely to have been between 30 and 40%.
The settlement smashes the previous record for a UK divorce of £48m paid by an insurance broker, John Charman, to his former wife, Beverley. However, even this is dwarfed by the reputed $1.7 billiion paid by Rupert Murdoch to his ex-wife and the rumoured $300 million paid by Chelsea owner Roman Avromovich to his ex.
In another case, a former police constable has launched a claim after losing her job with the Devon and Cornwall Police following an appearance on the BBC game show, Total Wipeout. The only problem was that at the time, PC Lesley Hart was on sick leave from the force. She worked for the domestic violence unit which she was moved to after another lengthy absence for a shoulder injury. She then went on the “sick” again due to the alleged stress of the job and it was during this absence that she made her appearance on the show which is filmed in Argentina. The case continues.