Date: 11th February 2001
TOM CRUISE has saved himself a fortune by separating from wife NICOLE KIDMAN three days before the couple's tenth wedding anniversary.
Tom, 38, filed a petition for divorce last week (ENDS11FEB01) and claims the pair split on 21 December(00) last year. Under Californian law, if the split had occurred on Christmas Eve (24DEC00), exactly a decade after they married, Tom would have to have been liable to support Nicole financially for the rest of her life.
Now the lucky star only has to pay her for five years, saving him up to $150 million (£100 million) from his $338 million (£225 million) fortune. Los Angeles lawyer HAROLD COHN, who has dealt with many celebrity divorces, says, "For a man of his fortune, the financial savings could well be enormous. The 10-year deadline has no bearing on child support - that is a totally separate issue."
Any financial settlement will also take into account Nicole's $113 million (£75 million) personal fortune. Tom's lawyer DENNIS WASSER refuses to comment on his client's case. (KAB/WNSMI/KW)