Divorce of SA prof linked to Annie Lennox finalised

2012-03-31 07:26

UK pop star Annie Lennox could soon be saying, “I do” to a South African professor who left his wife and children for her.

London’s Daily Mail reported that the divorce of Professor Mitch Besser – founder of HIV-prevention charity mothers2mothers and professor at the University of Cape Town’s medical school – was quietly finalised in a United States court.

Besser’s ex-wife, to whom he had been married for 28 years, cited irreconcilable differences as the reason she was divorcing him.

The 56-year-old professor was still married when he met Lennox (57), an Aids activist, who visited him, his wife and their two teenage sons about two years ago.

Besser’s wife filed for divorce after photographs of her husband and Lennox holding hands and strolling around the London suburb of Notting Hill last June were published in European newspapers.

She asked a Florida court to award her, in the divorce settlement, the marital home in Cape Town as well as a small house in the US state’s town of DeBary. She also asked for their Mercedes and Toyota vehicles. The divorce was finalised in December last year.

The Mail Online contacted both Lennox and Besser for comment but no response was forthcoming.

Lennox, who shot to fame with 1980s hit group Eurythmics, has been married twice before and has two daughters.

Besser joined the University of Cape Town’s department of obstetrics and gynaecology in 2000.

He began mothers2mothers at Cape Town’ Groote Schuur hospital in 2001 to support pregnant women and mothers coming to terms with their status.

Besser’s work has earned him a Presidential Citizen’s Medal in 2008 from then US president George W Bush.

British tabloid The Sun reported in February that Besser had moved out of the family home in Cape Town.

Unnamed friends were reported as saying that his marriage was already over by then but his relationship with Lennox had put paid to any hopes of a reconciliation. At the time, a friend said that his wife was “devastated”.

“Annie and Besser became close throughout last year. It’s now serious. Annie didn’t set out to hurt (his wife) but understandably there’s some upset.”

 

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