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Divorce for shamed BP chief Tony Hayward and the loyal wife who stood by him in wake of Deepwater Horizon disasterMaureen Fulton has been granted a divorce citing 'unreasonable behaviour'Came only months after she was leading fightback to restore his reputationThe oil spill forced him to resign from his 4million-a-year jobHe accepted his wife's application for a decree nisi, granted in 50 seconds
01:45 GMT, 2 December 2012
She was the fiercely loyal wife, standing by a husband branded America’s ‘most hated and most clueless man’. But now former BP boss Tony Hayward’s partner has called time on their 27-year marriage.
Maureen Fulton has been granted a ‘quickie’ divorce, citing the 55-year-old oil chief’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
The decree nisi came only months after Ms Fulton was reported to be leading the fightback to restore her husband’s tattered reputation following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.
Hated: Tony Hayward at a Washington inquiry with his wife (circled). Maureen Fulton has een granted a divorce citing the 55-year-old's 'unreasonable behaviour'
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – the worst in history – forced Mr Hayward out of his 4 million-a-year job as BP’s chief executive.
His remark that ‘I would like my life back’ and pictures of him relaxing on his yacht at the peak of the uproar fuelled the campaign to oust him from his post.
He even found himself on the wrong side of vitriolic attacks led by US President Barack Obama.
It prompted Ms Fulton, a geophysicist by training, to start writing a book that year to defend her beleaguered husband.
The 51-year-old refused to comment on her reasons for seeking a divorce when asked at the family’s house near Sevenoaks, Kent.
Disaster: Maureen Fulton was reported to be leading the fightback to restore her husband's tattered reputation following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig catastrophe (pictured)
‘I’d heard in the past of rumours that they were having problems but I haven’t heard about anyone else being involved,’ said one of her friends yesterday. ‘It’s not something she’d talk about – they are both very private people.’
Mr Hayward did not contest his wife’s application for a decree nisi, which was granted in 50 seconds.
The businessman’s acceptance of the grounds for the divorce meant that no details were given in court about his behaviour.
The marriage will officially be dissolved with a decree absolute in six weeks.
The Haywards married in Edinburgh in 1985, when the couple were both working in junior positions at BP.
My Hayward took up the post of chief executive of Mayfair-based Genel Energy, which is developing oil production in Kurdistan
She put her career on hold to bring up the couple’s two children, Kieran, 22, and Tara, 18.
Mr Hayward’s departure from BP was reportedly eased by a pension pot valued at 10.8 million – worth about 600,000 a year.
He later took up the post of chief executive of Mayfair-based Genel Energy, which is developing oil production in Kurdistan.
When approached for a comment on his marriage split, a spokeswoman for Genel Energy said that Mr Hayward would not be making any statement on the matter.