Berezovsky agrees Britain's biggest ever divorce pay-out

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The Independent Online

Britain's biggest ever divorce settlement was agreed yesterday in the High Court.

The pay-out, reportedly worth "hundreds of millions of pounds", comes from billionaire Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, 64, after he admitted "unreasonable behaviour" towards his ex-wife Galina Besharova, 52. The agreement was described as "amicable", and came a year to the day after she divorced him in 45 seconds.

Mr Berezovsky was granted asylum in Britain in September 2003. He and Besharova had been married for 18 years, but separated after just two, and for the last 16 years Mr Berezovsky has lived with his current partner, Yelena Gorbunova, 42. Besharova reportedly filed for divorce when she was irritated that Berezovsky kept referring to Gorbunova as his "wife".

Judge Mrs Justice Eleanor King said: "It does not matter whether the awards are thousands of pounds or hundreds of millions of pounds. At the end of the day if the husband and wife can reach agreement they can both live with, it bodes much better for their future welfare and for the children of the family."

Mr Berezovsky built his vast fortune by turning a single Mercedes dealership in Moscow into a chain that he later sold for £350m.