14 MAY 2008

Despite being embroiled in high profile divorce proceedings John Cleese seems to be maintaining his sense of humour. The 68-year-old comedian has joked about sending his wife's legal submissions to his Monty Python colleagues, and quipped that while it's "going to be very, very expensive" it will be "worth every penny."

Arriving for Tuesday's hearing in a wheelchair following knee surgery the day before, John was ordered by the judge to temporarily pay his estranged wife, Alice Faye Eichelberger, £77,500 a month.

Alice, to whom John was married for 15 years, is seeking a £900,000-a-year settlement. She says she's entitled to the sum because her husband was a "world renowned celebrity" and as a result of her marriage she was used to being "entertained by royalty and dignitaries in castles".

John argues her demands are based on his income during a "banner year", where he earned an "unusually high amount."

This is the third divorce for the British comedian, whose wives have all been American. He was married to his Fawlty Towers co-writer and co-star, Connie Booth - with whom he had a daughter, Cynthia - for ten years. He then went on to wed TV director and painter Barbara Trentham in 1981, tying the knot with Alice two years after they parted.

Photo: ©
The Monty Python star and his American psychotherapist wife are divorcing after 15 years of marriage. Alice says marriage to the Monty Python star meant she became accustomed to being "entertained by royalty and dignitaries in castles" Photo: © Getty Images Click on photo to enlarge