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Zeta-Jones plays down gold-digger allegation

WELSH actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who married Michael Douglas last month in a $2m wedding, has spoken for the first time about allegations that she waged a legal war with her husband over their prenuptial agreement.

In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Zeta-Jones says she was stung by claims that she was after Douglas's $150m.

"The thing that really upset me was the idea that I was a gold-digger," she added. "But there are gold-digging women out there, and in a divorce everyone turns green and it's 'Sue the bastard!' Money can create such animosity."

Before the wedding, it was reported that Douglas offered his wife-to-be $1.4m for every year of marriage, but Zeta-Jones was insisting on three times that much, with a compromise agreement reached at $2.8m.

Zeta-Jones is careful not to say what deal she finally struck, but defends the rather unromantic negotiations that took place while she was pregnant with their son, Dylan Douglas, who was born before they married.

"There was no argument, no malicious feud," she told the magazine. "If I was marrying someone of lesser fortune who was 25 years younger, I'd be doing exactly the same thing. I think pre-nups are brilliant, because it's all sorted out. Why should Michael be in a position where half of his fortune, which he's worked bloody hard for, should land in someone else's lap?

"It wasn't a nasty experience for me, it was like, 'Thank God that's done let's get on with it.' It was signed and put in the bottom of a drawer, hopefully never to be seen again. I get very well taken care of."

When rumours first circulated that Douglas planned to marry Zeta-Jones, his first wife, Diandra Douglas, pointed out that he first needed to get a divorce. Douglas, who starred in Fatal Attraction, and is one of Hollywood's most successful producers, finally handed over a reported $60m to his first wife.

Zeta-Jones points out that she is making plenty of money on her own account and currently commands a fee of $7m per film. "I'm lucky, I have my own money," she said. "I'm self-sufficient, and I think it's good for our relationship."

(The Times, London)

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