10 FEBRUARY 2003

One week after one of the world's wealthiest men, the Sultan of Brunei, announced he was divorcing his second wife Mariam, experts speculate his 47-year-old estranged spouse may be in for the biggest divorce payout in history.

Under Muslim law, a husband is obliged to provide his former wife maintenance. So, with the Sultan's £7 billion fortune – which includes 165 Rolls-Royces, 300 sports cars, multiple private jets and a cruise liner – Mariam's slice could be in the hundreds of millions.

However, one Muslim divorce law specialist told the Malay Mail: "If the wife is found to be nusyuz, or having misbehaved in a way that breaches the marriage contract, then she is not entitled to… her husband's property."

If a massive settlement is decided upon, previous high-profile payouts will seem paltry in comparison. The ex-wife of real estate mogul Donald Trump, Ivana, walked away with £8 million while Diana, Princess of Wales received £15 million in her settlement.

In one of the most impressive deals in recent memory, the British-born former wife of the Aga Khan, Sally Croker-Poole, is said to have received a whopping £50 million in cash and jewels when they split in 1995.

Photo: ©
Experts say the Sultan of Brunei's settlement with his estranged wife could make her one of the world's wealthiest divorcées Click on photo to enlarge
You're on HELLO!'s global site. Click to return to HELLO! India Go back