From the day he walked out in public with his new love, Anne-Marie Corbett, on his arm, Ant McPartlin has been a man in complete control.
While his wife, Lisa, reeled from the ‘betrayal’ of Anne-Marie, the PA she considered
a family friend, Ant, 43, was busy working on his rehab.
With public sympathy on his side, he spoke movingly about his battles with drink, drugs and depression. Once separated from Lisa, 42, who had stood by him throughout the dark days of addiction, he then made a point of crediting one woman for his astounding recovery – Anne-Marie.
But if Ant thought his wife
of 12 years would melt meekly into the background, he was mistaken. Now, nearly six months after a court granted the couple a Decree Nisi, their divorce has hit the buffers. A Decree Absolute – the final, formal end of a marriage – could have been issued as early as November, but negotiations have stalled so badly there is no prospect of
The reason? Finally, after months of watching Ant’s public rehabilitation unfold and seeing him very publicly fall in love with her old friend, Lisa has taken a leaf out of his book and grabbed back control of her own life.
NO MORE COMPROMISES
‘Ant called the shots in their relationship for years, and Lisa went along with it because she is not
a confrontational person,’ a close friend of hers tells Woman.
‘When they first got together she was in the music business and they were an equal partnership. Then Ant got really famous and Lisa was happy for him.
‘Everything was fine for years but then something changed in Ant. By the time the end came he was very much the alpha male, head of the family and used to getting his own way.
‘Addiction was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but he was already a different person to the man she married.’
Today, Lisa has remoulded herself as a successful career woman. While she might not have chosen for her marriage to end, it seems that she is determined to make sure the final cut is on her terms and she won’t compromise.
YOU GO YOUR WAY and I’LL GO MINE
The delay to the divorce puts the brakes on carving up Ant’s fortune, but that’s not his only worry. He is reportedly keen to propose to Anne-Marie, 42, who he’s been dating since last February and who he lives with. Lisa, in contrast, has told mates she’ll never marry
a celebrity again.
‘It’s like there were three people in their marriage,’ explains the pal. ‘Ant, Ant’s ego and Lisa.’
With no mortgage and a career as a make-up artist that brings in a six-figure salary, Lisa has no urgent need to agree to Ant’s demands. And with a new slimline look and a long, hot summer to look forward to, Lisa is happy to be in it for the long haul.
SILENCE IS GOLDEN
A sticking point lies in Lisa’s refusal to be gagged. Ant is understood to be seeking a legal non-disclosure agreement or an NDA, which bans Lisa from talking about him in return for a swift and reasonable divorce settlement.
Lisa, according to friends, is having none of it. ‘This is just an extension of the behaviour which made Ant intolerable to live with in the first place,’ reasons the pal.
‘He has caused her so much pain, humiliated her in public and given interviews to tabloids calling that woman his “rock” and a “beautiful soul”. At the same time he wants Lisa to be a good little wifey and keep her mouth shut.
‘Well, I’m sorry but those days are gone. Lisa has too much class to act the same way as Ant – she only speaks out when there is a very good reason – but she will not cave in to bullying behaviour out of principle.’