South Wales Echo, 28th September 2009
Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra has been urged to pay his childhood sweetheart £3m for just five weeks of marriage – or risk an even costlier courtroom showdown.

Divorce lawyer Melanie Hamer said the Bluebirds star’s model wife Heather Swan could be legally entitled to 50% of her hubby’s estimated £6m fortune for seven years and having a baby.

Ms Hamer, of Cardiff-based Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, said she would advise him to settle out of court.

Ms Hamer, who has represented a host of footballers in divorce battles, said “I think it’s a disaster when these cases get to court because the only people who win are the lawyers. The Heather Mills and Paul McCartney case was a really good example of how not to resolve these issues. Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s split was a far better way of doing things. I think Heather’s going to do really well out of this divorce, especially as they’ve got a young son.”

She said if £25,000-a-week Chopra, who has battled a gambling addiction, was her client, she would tell him: “Get a good lawyer then settle because the court costs are so huge.”

Chopra, 26, wed Heather, star of ITV2’s WAGs Boutique, at Orchardleigh House in Somerset last June.