A man who agreed to pay his wife £60,000 a month after a divorce has told a judge that “he was not wearing his glasses” when he signed the agreement and did not know how much it was for.
The man, who is in his 60s, is said to be from an Arabic country and had multiple wives because polygamy was permitted in his home country.
The former politician is now embroiled in an expensive divorce after his marriage to his fourth wife broke down. Mr Justice Mostyn had been asked to make decisions about how much maintenance the man should pay pending final rulings on the dispute.
After considering the facts Mr Justice Mostyn reduced the woman’s allowance to a less costly £33,000 a month.
“The husband and the wife met in a Chinese restaurant,” said Mr Justice Mostyn, in his ruling.
“The wife brought certain documents with her that she wished the husband to sign. One of the documents that he did sign was a confirmation by him to start paying her immediately £60,000 per month.
“In his witness statement the husband says that he was emotionally disturbed at the time. He was missing his children whom the wife was not allowing him to see.
“He did not have his reading glasses. He did not know what he was signing or, if he did, his mind was altered by the circumstances so that he did not fully appreciate what he was putting his signature to.”
The judge said the politician was “no ingenue” and added: “He is a former minister in the government of his home country.
“I find it very hard to accept that he would have signed a document committing himself to pay £60,000 per month without appreciating the consequences of his signature.”
He said he would make “robust assumptions” about the man’s ability to pay.
But he also said the woman’s initial “budget” had been “absurd”.
Mr Justice Mostyn concluded that monthly payments of about £33,000 a month for the woman and the children were “reasonable”.