And so, the karmic tsunami of terrible life events continues for Jeremy Clarkson.
This time, his first wife Alex Hall is adding to claims that the Top Gear presenter is being divorced by his partner of 21 years, Frances Clarkson, insisting that she deserves a large chunk of his estimated £30million fortune, if and when it goes through.
Hall, who was married to Clarkson for six months in 1989, said that Frances’s undeterred support for the TV personality throughout his financially lucrative career meant that she would be entitled to a generous settlement.
And not just because she was married to him for 21 years, either: Frances also had the unenviable task of serving as Clarkson’s manager.
“She has done her penance,” Hall told the Daily Telegraph. “It is her hard work that has made him into the idol he is today.
“Jeremy is the frontman but behind the scenes she was the swan paddling frantically beneath the surface.
Jeremy Clarkson's Top 25 Most Obnoxious Lines
Jeremy Clarkson's Top 25 Most Obnoxious Lines
1/24 "Short people. When you've finished using a car, put the f**king seat back, so humans can use it afterwards," he posted on Twitter. Offensively.
2/24 "Honestly, the burka doesn’t work. I was in a cab in Piccadilly the other day when a woman in a full burka crossing the road in front of me tripped over the pavement, went head over heels and up it came, red G-string and stockings."
3/24 Driving a Jaguar round a toilet in India: "This is perfect for India because everyone who comes here gets the trots."
4/24 "The only person who looked good in a 4-seated convertible was Adolf Hitler."
5/24 As a Thai man walked over a bridge he had built during a Top Gear challenge: "That is a proud moment - but there’s a slope on it."
Jeremy Clarkson is involved in further controversy over a second set of number plates found in the vehicle he was driving in Argentina
6/24 On the Renault Clio V6 handling bends: "In typical French fashion it just gives up! A bit like the French did with the Germans."
7/24 "I'm thinking. If you had gone to the trouble of making a chemical bomb, why would you detonate it on a coach from Preston?"
8/24 On public sector workers in 2011: “I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.”
9/24 "I don't understand bus lanes. Why do poor people have to get to places quicker than I do?"
10/24 "The only reason the Arabs and Jews have managed to keep their nasty little war going for 50 years is because it never bloody rains there. If the post-war powers had put Israel in Manchester, there'd have been no bloodshed."
11/24 "If all the creatures on earth were the same size, it's said a lobster would have the smallest brain. But then someone invented Wayne Rooney."
12/24 On the invention of the segway: "They're made in America, of course, so fat Yanks can go to the fridge without expending any energy."
13/24 "Supercars are supposed to run over Arthur Scargill and then run over him again for good measure. They are designed to melt ice caps, kill the poor, poison the water table, destroy the ozone layer, decimate indigenous wildlife, recapture the Falkland Islands and turn the entire third world into a huge uninhabitable desert, all that before they nicked all the oil in the world."
14/24 "I’m sorry, but having an Aston Martin DB9 on the drive and not driving it is a bit like having Keira Knightley in your bed and sleeping on the couch. If you’ve got even half a scrotum it’s not going to happen."
15/24 On a caravaning holiday: “You aren’t allowed to have a party, you aren’t allowed to have music, you aren’t allowed to play ball games, you aren’t allowed to have a camp fire, you have to park within two feet of a post, you have to keep quiet, you have to be in bed by eleven. This is not a holiday, it’s a concentration camp!”
16/24 "Britain’s nuclear submarines have been deemed unsafe… probably because they don’t have wheel-chair access."
17/24 “If we are being honest HIV is a pathetic virus, it can only live in the air for 6 seconds and it does what ebola does to you in 10 days in 10 years.”
18/24 On the Lotus Elise: “This car is more fun than the entire french air force crashing into a firework factory.”
19/24 On actress Sarah Jessica Parker: “People think ‘oh she must be pretty’. She isn’t – she looks like a boiled horse."
20/24 On the BMW Z3: "And if you are clinically insane, by which I mean you wake up in the morning and think you are an onion, here’s your car."
21/24 On the Ferrari 430 Scuderia: “It’s like God having really unusual sex… it should come with toilet roll.”
22/24 "The problem is that television executives have got it into their heads that if one presenter on a show is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed heterosexual boy, the other must be a black Muslim lesbian."
23/24 "If you're thinking of coming to America, this is what it's like: you've got your Comfort Inn, you've got your Best Western, and you've got your Red Lobster where you eat. Everybody's very fat, everybody's very stupid and everybody's very rude - it's not a holiday programme, it's the truth."
24/24 On the N-word row: "I’ve been told by the BBC that if I make one more offensive remark, anywhere, at any time, I will be sacked."
A screengrab from Jeremy Clarkson's video apology
“So she deserves every penny she gets – she worked for it.”
Clarkson married Frances in 1993 – the same year that Hall, who had left the presenter for one of his closest friends, also tied the knot.
However, she claims that soon into their second marriages, she began seeing her ex-husband again –allegations that have been vehemently denied by Clarkson, who attempted to place a gagging order on Hall by taking out a High Court injunction that banned her from discussing him with the media.
In 2011, it was dropped after rumours of their rekindled romance began circulating online. Hall had hired the assistance of the now jailed 'King of Spin' Max Clifford to orchestrate her publicity, who was sentenced to eight years last week for sexually assaulting teenage girls.
But in the face of adversity, Hall still appeared to have some warm words for her former husband, describing her own reaction to news of his second divorce as “pragmatically detached and indifferent” as she claims no longer has romantic feelings for him. She did, however, label Clarkson “a decent, loyal and honourable man” – but had no comment on recent allegations of racism made against him.
She said that she and Frances Clarkson were “not friends or anything”, but nonetheless offered some words of advice on their marital situation.
“I think she had her head in the sand. So every time Jeremy said, ‘No, nothing’s going on, it’s just a bit of malarkey’, she believed him,” she said on his rumoured – and dismissed – infidelities.
“She will have a newfound freedom now, but she became famous as a result of him and she may struggle with that. It’s not an easy thing to deal with – you are always ‘Jeremy Clarkson’s ex’.”
She added that she wished the couple “all the luck and a happy, healthy, sensible divorce”.
“I don’t think he ever loved his wife – he loved me,” she said. “He did say once that he never ever wanted to feel so bad ever again. So he blocked everything out.”
She also said that she believes Clarkson has finally found love with Phillipa Sage, the events organiser he works with on Top Gear.
“When I first saw the pictures in the paper, I knew that he had fallen in love with her,” she continued.
“I think he will be very happy with her. I think he’s a serial monogamist, I don’t think he’s a fly-by-night philanderer.”
In 2011, Clarkson was pictured kissing Sage during a world tour with his Top Gear co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May. Clarkson shrugged off the claims, saying he and Sage had simply been “colleagues fooling around”. Last year, he was photographed kissing that same colleague on holiday in Greece.
It is thought that Clarkson’s relationship with Sage has put a strain on his marriage to Frances, who he has been living apart from for the last three years.
A spokesperson for Clarkson has declined to comment.
Frances Clarkson told reporters on Sunday (4 May) that she did not “want to make a comment at this time” on the reports. Asked whether she could confirm or deny the rumours, she answered bluntly: “No.”
News of his divorce comes after a week of career hell for Clarkson.
The Top Gear presenter was accused of being a racist when un-broadcast footage of him appearing to mumble the word ‘n****r’ while reciting a derogatory rhyme was leaked to the press.
It resulted in some stern words from BBC bosses and a final warning, and some words of support from co-presenter James May, the Secretary of State for Eduction Michael Gove and the man no-one could possibly want sticking up for them, UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
He also released a grovelling video apology, in which he declared he’d taken steps to ensure he hadn’t said the offensive word, but admitted that his efforts “obviously were not good enough”.
None of this, of course, was helped by the fact he’d recently come under fire for naming his black pet dog ‘Didier Dogba’ (yes, after the black footballer), and made a derogatory reference to Asian people during a recent episode of Top Gear (read about that here).