Ant McPartlin‘s estranged wife ‘rejects divorce settlement in favour of taking him to court‘

Ant McPartlin‘s estranged wife ‘rejects multi-million pound divorce settlement in favour of taking him to court so they can settle their differences in public‘

Friends say that despite efforts by the I’m A Celebrity… presenter to keep their split low-key by offering Ms Armstrong a substantial chunk of a £62 million fortune, she still wants her day in court. The pair are pictured above in 2006

Ant McPartlin is set to face his estranged wife Lisa Armstrong in court to finalise their divorce after she turned down his multi-million-pound settlement offer, The Mail on Sunday understands.

Friends say that despite efforts by the I’m A Celebrity… presenter to keep their split low-key by offering Ms Armstrong a substantial chunk of a £62 million fortune, she still wants her day in court.

He is believed to have offered her more than half of his estate to help ensure the divorce could be finalised quickly and away from court.

Instead, by allowing a judge to rule on a settlement, Ms Armstrong risks being awarded a lower sum. However, sources close to her insist she isn’t concerned about money.

Lawyers are said to be preparing for a High Court hearing next year, which could mean details of the couple’s marriage being made public, along with revelations about Ant’s battle to overcome his drink and drug addiction.

Ms Armstrong, a make-up artist on 1’s Strictly Come Dancing, is understood to feel that Ant ‘got away with a lot’ following their split in 2017.

She is also thought to be dismayed and deeply hurt that he moved on so quickly when he started a new relationship with his former personal assistant, Anne-Marie Corbett.

Ant, 43, could make a plea to the judge to stop the hearing being made public – but because there are no children involved and he has already done several interviews about his personal life, it is unlikely he will be successful.

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A source close to the couple said: ‘Ant has been very generous in terms of the financial settlement but Lisa is totally the opposite of someone who is motivated by money. She doesn’t care about that – she earns her own. But she has been so hurt by all of this.

‘What the general public and his fans don’t realise is that Ant’s decision to end the marriage came after years of Lisa trying to save him from himself.

‘There were at least three years when she was at her wits’ end and it was tough. Watching him move on was very, very difficult. Lisa is very much aware that a judge may not award her as much as Ant is offering but she doesn’t care.

‘She has suffered tremendously in all of this and she wants her day in court.’

Among the details that could be revealed during a courtroom showdown will be the star’s alcoholism, use of painkillers and his relationship with Ms Corbett.

Last week it was reported that Ant had offered new mediation talks with Ms Armstrong after recent arbitration between the couple failed to make progress.

It is understood he had hoped to agree a deal before flying out to Queensland to host the new series of I’m A Celebrity… alongside Declan Donnelly. The show returns to our screens next weekend.

Ant missed last year’s series following his conviction for drink-driving. He will be joined by Ms Corbett and her daughters.

Ms Armstrong, who has hired Catherine Bedford, head of family law at legal firm Harbottle & Lewis, to represent her, is said to have been distraught over a newspaper interview in which Ant told how he was ‘happier than ever’ with Ms Corbett.

Ant’s spokesman declined to comment last night. Representatives for Ms Armstrong did not respond to our request to comment.

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