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Funnyman John Cleese discusses his divorce and alimony

New York fans of funnyman John Cleese, best known for his work with 'Monty Python," recently sat down for an interview. During the course of the interview, he discussed the outcome of his 2008 divorce, where he was ordered to pay between $23 and $24 million in alimony. Cleese, age 74, and his then-wife of 16 years divorced in 2008 and signed a divorce settlement order in 2009.

Cleese was ordered to pay his ex-spouse $13 million upfront as well as approximately $1 million each year in spousal support. His final payment is scheduled to be in 2016.

In the interview, the comedian was incredibly candid about the perception that all of those who are famous are financially set as a result of their success. In fact, Cleese reportedly launched a show called 'The Alimony Tour" several years ago in order to be able to pay the amount ordered by the court. Additionally, he sold four of the five properties that he owned in order to make ends meet. He has since remarried.

In many divorces, the issues of division of assets and spousal support can prove to be contentious when the parties are unable to come to an agreement. Alimony is often included in part of a divorce order as a way of taking into account a situation where one spouse gave up career opportunities and income in order to stay at home and assume primary household or parenting responsibilities. While Cleese and his ex-wife had no children and she is a psychotherapist, it is not known whether she actively engaged in her profession during the marriage.

Source: The Huffington Post, "John Cleese's Alimony Payments Are No Laughing Matter", January 31, 2014

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