Ex-air hostess in divorce battle has 'had enough' of lawyers after £4.5m bill


A 78-year-old former air hostess who has run up legal bills of more than £4.5 million during a divorce court battle says she has "had enough" of her lawyers.

Ellen-Karine Hagen and estranged husband Torstein Hagen, the 74-year-old Norwegian businessman who launched Viking Cruises, are fighting over money at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Judge Mrs Justice Roberts has heard how Mr and Mrs Hagen, who come from Norway but shared a home in Wimbledon, south-west London, have spent the best part of £10 million between them on lawyers and that the trial is costing close to £100,000 a day.

Mrs Hagen began giving evidence on Thursday and was told, by the judge, not to discuss the case with her "legal team" during a lunch break.

"Oh, I won't talk to them," she told Mrs Justice Roberts. "I've had enough of them."

Mrs Justice Roberts is analysing evidence at a private hearing, but she said Mr and Mrs Hagen could be named in media reports and some detail reported.

She was told that Mrs Hagen wanted half her husband's fortune.

The judge said neither the amount Mrs Hagen said her husband was worth, nor the amount Mr Hagen said he was worth, could be revealed.

But she said a ''very substantial'' amount of money was at stake.

She said the public could be told how much had been spent on lawyers.

The judge has been told that Mrs Hagen has spent more than £4.5 million and Mr Hagen nearly £5 million.

Mrs Justice Roberts indicated that she would review restrictions on reporting as the case progressed.

Mr and Mrs Hagen's adult daughter, who is also called Ellen-Karine Hagen, and adult son, who is also called Torstein Hagen, are also embroiled in the litigation.

A dozen barristers are featuring in the case and the trial is being staged in one of the largest courtrooms in the Royal Courts of Justice complex in order to accommodate the number of people involved.

Mr and Mrs Hagen are each represented by four barristers.