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Kirsty was represented by leading divorce lawyer Baroness Shackleton, dubbed ‘the steel magnolia’ on account of her rigour and grace, whose roster of high-profile clients has included Sir Paul McCartney, Prince Charles and Princess Haya bint Hussein. Kirsty is understood to have signed a prenuptial agreement ahead of her marriage to Bertarelli in 2000. A source dubbed a ‘friend’ told the Mail: ‘The settlement was more generous than it had to be. They didn’t want a long, drawn-out court case in Switzerland and he wanted to recognise the length of their marriage.’

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Born in Staffordshire in 1971, Kirsty (née Roper), hails from an affluent family that formerly owned one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ceramic goods, Churchill China. She was crowned Miss UK in 1988 and subsequently awarded second runner-up in the global Miss World pageant the same year. A career as a songwriter and pop singer followed, with highlights including co-writing the All Saints Number 1 Black Coffee in 2000, and being signed by Decca Records in 2013.

Kirsty and Ernesto Bertarelli in Edinburgh, 2010

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Having moved to London as a young woman, Kirsty was hailed as quite the society beauty, counting the likes of former Tatler cover star Elizabeth Hurley, Tamara Beckwith Veroni and Damian Aspinall among her coterie of friends. She reportedly met Ernesto at a dinner party in Sardinia in 1997, before their marriage in 2000, after which the family lived together in Switzerland. Kirsty plays a key role as a trustee of her husband’s family’s Bertarelli Foundation, which focuses on neuroscience research and marine conservation. Her activities with the Foundation have been particularly oriented on community work in Stoke-on-Trent, near where she grew up, such as establishing a bursary scheme for disadvantaged students at Staffordshire University.

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