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Gary Lineker slams 'manipulative' divorce lawyers

Published 26/04/2016

Gary Lineker divorced his second wife Danielle Bux in January
Gary Lineker divorced his second wife Danielle Bux in January

Gary Lineker has criticised the cost and complexity of getting a divorce and accused lawyers of manipulating the system for gain.

The sports broadcaster, whose second marriage ended in January, accused solicitors of fuelling acrimony between divorcing couples to increase their profits.

Lineker, 55, suggested the process of annulment could be simplified by leaving the pricey process of litigation to a mathematical equation.

The Walkers ambassador, who also denied crisps were responsible for rising obesity among young people, made the comments in an interview with the Radio Times.

He said: "Just generally speaking, it's very easy to get married and very difficult to get divorced.

"And we know that lawyers try to manipulate it to make you spend more money and basically end up hating each other."

The former England footballer separated amicably from the mother of his four sons, Michelle Cockayne, in 2006 after two decades of marriage.

He went on to marry model and actress Danielle Bux in Ravello, Italy, in September 2009, after they had dated for two years. The pair divorced in January.

At the time Lineker said that they had "had many wonderful years together" and remained "very close and the greatest of friends".

Bux, 36, echoed the sentiment, saying that she cherished the "incredible" years they had spent together.

The couple used an online service to facilitate their divorce and were granted a decree nisi at Southampton County Court.

Lineker suggested a new system could be introduced to help divorcing couples reach a settlement.

He told the magazine: "I think there should be a mathematical equation that goes straight to the courts and they sort it out."

The Match Of The Day presenter's football career was marked by his reputation for being a good ambassador for the sport and he famously never received a yellow card.

Today he is one of the most recognisable figures on British television, thanks in part to being the face of Walkers crisps.

Crisp consumption among young people has come under scrutiny amid concerns over the impact on health, with many attributing the snack's popularity to rising childhood obesity.

However, Lineker said it was a "myth" that crisps' fat content was harmful and salt levels were fine as part of a balanced diet.

"We all deserve treats in life and snacks," he said, adding: "The real issue is the lack of exercise. There are no playing fields at the schools, not as much sport played. There are too many other things that are understandably distractions, like phones, computers, PlayStation games, where they just sit on their backsides."

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