Lord Northampton has agreed to pay his wife £17 million after their 20-year marriage ended in divorce, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.
Lord Northampton’s financial remedy case settles on eve of hearing
Wife due to receive about £17 million
The Telegraph reports that the financial remedy proceedings between Lord Northampton and his wife have been settled. A final hearing was due to begin in the High Court on the 21st January 2013. The marriage had lasted twenty years.
It is reported that Lady Northampton will receive a £4million apartment in central London as well as cash and possessions worth about £13million.
It was by far the longest lasting of his five marriages. And now easily the most expensive of his five divorces.
After an acrimonious, two-year legal battle, the 7th Marquess of Northampton has called a truce with his soon-to-be ex-wife. The divorce – prompted by Lady (Pamela) Northampton’s affair with a Romanian multi-millionaire – will cost him in the region of £17 million.
Lady Northampton, 61, will receive a £4 million apartment in Pimlico in central London as well as cash and possessions worth about £13 million.
But the vast majority of Lord Northampton’s fortune – put conservatively at £120 million and including two stately homes, tracts of land, valuable paintings and furniture and even a controversial Roman treasure hoard – will remain intact.
The decision to settle will spare the couple the £2 million cost of a two-week divorce trial, which was due to start in the High Court tomorrow . Both are now bound by confidentiality clauses that prevent them speaking about the failure of their 20-year marriage.
Lord Northampton’s solicitor, Simon Bruce of Farrer and Co, said yesterday: “We are pleased to confirm that the case has now been settled without the need for further court proceedings.
“Under the terms of the parties’ agreements there will be no further comment.”
A spokesman for Lady Northampton said: “She does not wish to make any comment at this time.”
The divorce had been a messy one. At a pretrial hearing in the summer, Lady Northampton’s lover was named as Dr Dan Stoicescu, who is said to be even wealthier than her husband.
The couple also became embroiled in a separate privacy action, now ended, over secret recordings of Lady Northampton’s phone conversations, discussing her private life with her 87-year-old father.
Bizarrely, the recordings were made by her stepmother, a hairdresser from Staines in Middlesex, and passed on to Lord Northampton.
Their contents prompted Lord Northampton, 66, to throw his wife out of their 84-room country estate at Compton Wynyates, Warwickshire.
Lady Northampton had demanded about £25 million and Lord Northampton had offered £15 million. It is reckoned, although unconfirmed, that she will in the end receive about £17 million – almost £1 million for every year of their marriage.
Lord Northampton, born Spencer Compton and known as “Spenny” to friends, is one of Britain’s most colourful aristocrats, once dubbed the “Mystic Marquess” for his fascination with Freemasonry and spirituality.
He had already been wed four times in 23 years when he married Pamela Kyprios in 1990 at a register office in Stratford-upon-Avon, following her divorce from a wealthy Greek-American shipping financier.
While his family has aristocratic roots dating back 500 years, Lady Northampton, born Pamela Haworth, is from altogether more humble stock, having been born into a working-class family in Lancashire.
The pair were introduced by friends in the late 1980s and married shortly after. “She is the centre of my life,” Lord Northampton said at the time, “She is a healer, very good at relaxing me.” He has told friends that she was the love of his life and certainly none of his other marriages lasted anywhere near as long.
Lord Northampton became friends with Dr Stoicescu in about 2006 after they met at a Freemasons’ gathering.
Dr Stoicescu, who lives beside Lake Geneva in Switzerland and made his money through a pharmaceutical business, describes himself as a “transhumanist”, convinced life can be “extended through nanotechnology and artificial intelligence”.
He became only the second person to have his genome mapped, at a cost of £220,000, and later paid for Lord and Lady Northampton to go through the process. He also gave Lord Northampton expensive gifts before embarking on an affair with his wife in about 2009.
The taped phone calls, made over three months in 2010, confirmed Lord Northampton’s worst suspicions.
A friend of his said: “Spenny feels betrayed by Dan Stoicescu, whom he once regarded as one of his closest friends.
“At a time when he thought his marriage was solid, he and Pamela holidayed with Stoicescu and he showered them with expensive gifts.
“Stoicescu even gave Pamela a job with one of his organisations, which meant they travelled the world together.
“Although it looks obvious now what was developing, Stoicescu’s role in the end of his marriage was a complete and utter shock.”
A friend of Lady Northampton defended her.
“Spenny has had a chequered past and Pamela has had to put up with a great deal. It’s fair to say that … the marriage was already faltering a considerable time before the relationship began with Dan.
“Since Spenny decided to divorce her, she feels she has been treated like a common criminal – thrown out of Compton Wynyates and never allowed back. She resents the claim she is being portrayed as a gold-digger.
“After a 23-year relationship and after the contributions Pamela has made to Spenny’s properties, business and life, she is entitled to a good settlement.”
Lord Northampton married four times between 1967 and 1988, selling a painting by Andreas Mantegna for a then world-record £8.1 million in 1985, two years after divorce number three.
English divorce law largely protects inherited wealth and two stately homes, Compton Wynyates and Castle Ashby, will remain in the family and be passed on to his heir.
Other assets include the Sevso Treasure, which consists of 14 large decorated silver vessels and platers, which cannot be sold because of a long-running dispute over their provenance.
A painting of Mary I, painted in 1554 and worth about £6 million, may have to be auctioned to help pay for the divorce.