Recent reports have emerged that Isla Fisher had in fact contacted the well-known celebrity divorce lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, over two years ago amidst ongoing difficulties in her marriage to Sacha Baron Cohen.

Once referred to by the media as the ‘steel magnolia’ of divorce lawyers, Shackleton famously represented King Charles in his contentious divorce from Diana Spencer in 1996. Succeeding in negotiating a £17 million settlement on behalf of the then Prince and in stripping Diana of her title, Shackleton has since gone on to represent an impressive list of other high-profile clients such as Paul McCartney, Stephen Hawking, and Liam Gallagher. She was consequently recommended to Fisher by a mutual contact as a result of her recognised reputation.

Two years later, Fisher and Baron Cohen first announced their decision to part ways on 5 April 2024 in a slightly eccentric social media post which featured the two of them posing together wearing tennis whites. The caption read:

After a long tennis match lasting over twenty years, we are finally putting our racquets down. In 2023 we jointly filed to end our marriage. We have always prioritised our privacy, and have been quietly working through this change. We forever share in our devotion and love for our children. We sincerely appreciate your respecting our family’s wish for privacy.

Fisher and Baron Cohen first met in 2001 at a party in Sydney Australia. Baron Cohen recounts that he ‘knew instantly’ during that meeting, where the two of them bonded over making fun of the other ‘pretentious’ party-goers, that they had a singular connection. The couple then decided to tie the knot in 2004 and have since welcomed 3 children, teenage daughters Olive and Elula and their younger brother Montgomery.

Baron Cohen first rose to fame in the 90s for portraying a comedic ‘gangster’ character called Ali G and then went on to create a host of other personas including fan-favourites Borat, a brash journalist from Kazakhstan, and Bruno, the ostentatious Austrian Fashionista. Fellow actor Fisher carved out her own career in the spotlight by appearing as Shannon Reed in the well-known Australian soap ‘Home and Away’ before moving onto the big screen and claiming leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’.

Controversy recently arose for Baron Cohen however when another well-known actor, Rebel Wilson, chose to include within her memoir allegations of ‘derogatory’ behaviour from Baron Cohen to her on the set of his 2016 movie, ‘Grimsby’, in which she starred opposite him. Baron Cohen is understood to have threatened legal action in response to certain inflammatory comments which were published in the book. Wilson writes that she was asked to do things that were “derogatory to women or to my size” while shooting certain scenes in the movie and that she felt like she was “being humiliated” and “sexually harassed” while on set. She described Baron Cohen’s behaviour as being like a “fourth-grade bully who teases the fat girl on the playground and tries to make her life a living hell.”

Baron Cohen’s legal representation have claimed that these allegations have “no basis in reality” and that they are part of a “cynical commercial ploy to promote her book”. They have also supplied evidence to support this, including footage of the scene in question as well as written correspondence and script excerpts from the movie.

Comments have since been made that Fisher may have chosen as a result to now publicly announce hers and Baron Cohen’s separation in order to evade being included within the unpleasant media discourse surrounding Wilson’s book.

Divorces are never an easy challenge to face, whether taking place within the public eye or in the privacy of one’s own circle of family and friends. We at Grayfords understand how damaging it can be to have to face criticism for making such a difficult decision in addition to also navigating the financial, logistical, or custodial details that come hand in hand with a separation. Our expert solicitors have considerable experience in empowering our clients to fight for their best interests in the courtroom while also tending to their mental and emotional wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to book your free consultation today in order to find out more about how we can help with family law matters.

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