John Cleese’s 15-year marriage to Alyce Faye Eichelberger is dead. The relationship is no more. It’s passed on. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. It rests in peace. It’s shuffled off this mortal coil. It’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible… you get the idea.
The legendary Monty Python alumnus has been ordered by a Santa Barbara, California judge to pay Eichelberger $75,000 a month in spousal support, Independent Television News reported on May 14. However, the 68-year-old British comic and actor didn’t seem too upset about the decision.
“It’s going to be very, very expensive,” Cleese said of his divorce outside Santa Barbara Superior Court, according to ITN, “but it will be worth every penny.” He also joked that he’d sent his wife’s divorce claims to his former Python colleagues, telling them it was good material for a new comedy show.
Cleese attended court in a wheelchair, as he’d had surgery on one of his knees earlier in the week. (Only a flesh wound?) He also appeared to be wearing large brown slippers.
According to the report, Eichelberger’s divorce lawyer, Jacqueline Misho, claimed in court that “because Mr. Cleese has not seen fit to pay any support up to this point”, her client was completely broke. Cleese later responded: “When Ms. Misho said my wife has absolutely no money, it puzzled me how she could be staying at the Carlyle Hotel in New York in a room that costs $590 a night.”
Daniel Jaffee, Cleese’s divorce attorney, claimed that his client’s current monthly income was only about $55,000. Eichelberger had stated that Cleese’s income was $93,000 per month, but Jaffee said that this figure was based on Cleese’s 2007 income; that included pay for his voice work in the animated movie Shrek 3 as well as a property deal. Meanwhile, Cleese claimed that the divorce expenses had forced him to sell his $8.25 million estate in Santa Barbara.
This is Cleese’s third divorce. His first marriage was to Fawlty Towers co-star and co-writer Connie Booth, who also did some work with Monty Python; they divorced in 1978 after ten years. Cleese’s second marriage was to actor Barbara Trentham. He married Eichelberger in December 1992; they separated amicably in January. Both Cleese and Eichelberger have children from their previous marriages.
Eichelberger, 63, is an American psychotherapist who reportedly hasn’t worked for several years. Harvard University has honored her for her past work, however, and Oklahoma State University inducted her into its College of Education 2007 Hall of Fame.
Will John Cleese take a fourth Silly Walk down the aisle someday? He’ll have to get his finances sorted out from this divorce first. Click here for tips from numerous Certified Divorce Financial Analysts on how to avoid common financial pitfalls in divorce.
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