14 APRIL 2009

The wife of Hollywood icon Mel Gibson has filed for divorce, paving the way for what could result in the highest settlement in Hollywood history. According to California law Robyn Gibson could seek half of her husband's estimated £640 million fortune.

The couple – who have been married for 28 years -are understood not to have signed a prenuptial agreement.

In papers lodged with the LA Superior Court on Monday Robyn cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split. She also listed the separation date as "to be determined", though a response from Mel's lawyer noted it as August 26, 2006.

The couple jointly released a statement on Monday night: "Throughout our marriage and separation we have always strived to maintain the privacy and integrity of our family and will continue to do so."

Robyn, a former nurse, has seven children with the Braveheart star, six of whom are grown up. She is seeking joint custody of the youngest, Tom, who turns ten this week.

Sources close to the couple say the break up will be amicable due to the mutual respect Mel and his 53-year-old wife continue to have for each other. In fact the couple attended church together with other family members on Palm Sunday, just four days before Robyn signed the divorce papers.

Photo: Getty Images
The Hollywood star's wife (pictured with Mel at the Oscars in 1997) cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the split in papers lodged in LA this week. Meanwhile her husband's lawyers revealed they've been separated since August 26, 2006. Under California law Robyn Gibson could seek half of her husband's £640 million fortune