Divorce battle for policeman son of peer who married six times
THE SON of Britain’s most divorced peer is now locked in his own divorce battle over his family fortune after he gave up his aristocratic life to become a Metropolitan Police officer.
Lord Wodehouse, fourth earl of Kim- berley, earned himself a reputation as a playboy and spent millions of the family fortune through his luxury lifestyle, six marriages and five divorces.
The earl, whose godfather was PG Wodehouse, the author, sold off Kimberly Hall, the family seat near Wymondham, Norfolk, before his death in 2002. His son from his third marriage, Henry Wyndham Wodehouse, 61, is a retired policeman who has twice followed his father to the divorce courts, most recently in 2011 after his second marriage, to his wife Ellen, broke down.
Last year the divorce judge in the case ordered Mr Wodehouse to give his estranged wife £90,000, adding that any money the twice-bankrupt Mr Wodehouse could not pay should be taken from his father’s trust fund.
But Mr Wodehouse says he has “modest means” leaving him unable to pay such a sum, and is arguing money should not come out of a trust fund his father left for his family.
This week Lord Justice Mcfarlane, Appeal Court judge, granted Mr Wodehouse permission to challenge the ruling, saying: “There is a heaviness to my heart, because this litigation is now going to go on for a further time when it should have been put to bed years ago.”
Phillip Blatchly, his barrister, told the Court of Appeal half of the money in the trust will go to his stepmother, known as “the dowager countess”, and Mr Wodehouse may only get £20,000, if anything at all.
The trust is “wholly discretionary”, said Mr Blatchly, meaning the trustees can, with the countess’s permission, exclude Mr Wodehouse from it at any time. “He has no absolute entitlement to any capital from the trust, either on the death of the dowager countess or earlier,” he said. “He is one of 15 potential beneficiaries in a trust that is entirely discretionary.”
A full appeal will be heard on a date to be set.
Henry Wyndham Wodehouse must pay his estranged wife £90,000, but insists he has only ‘modest means’