A lot of people across the nation, including here in Florida, probably have an idea in their head about what it’s like to be a celebrity. Actor John Cleese, best known for his work on the ‘Monty Python’ series, probably summed it up best when he said, “People always think that people like us are sort of sitting there, surrounded by our wealth and sort of making lofty choices about which film we’ll turn down. It’s not really like that.”

But in a recent interview with reporters, the 74-year-old actor put an end to this myth, using his own life as an example. He talked about his 2008 divorce from his third wife and the financial strain it has put on his life, which even our non-celebrity readers can likely relate to.

Just as Cleese’s quote above suggests, most people have a perception about celebrities and their wealth. When it comes to divorce, many people may think that dividing assets and paying alimony is easy. But as Cleese pointed out to reporters, his situation was anything but easy. Because of his 2009 divorce settlement, he had to pay his third ex-wife $13 million in cash and assets plus an additional $1 million per year until 2016. He says that he will have paid her $23 to $24 million dollars when it is all said and done. And as he pointed out in the interview, it is a lot of money, even for a celebrity such as himself.

Although Cleese was fortunate enough to have had the sale of three properties and an acting career to help fund his spousal support obligations, he says the process has been a struggle. Much like any other divorce, he has had to make difficult decisions in order to make payments. So while we might think of him as a celebrity, you might still empathize with his situation, especially if you’re going through something similar yourself.

Source: The Huffington Post, “John Cleese’s Alimony Payments Are No Laughing Matter,” Jan. 31, 2014