Lawyers of former President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire have revealed that he had filed for divorce from his 30-year-old wife at the age of 76, after years of “rejected requests for Simone Ehivet to consent to an amicable separation”.
The forner president, who has spent many years with with 47-year-old former journalist Nady Bamba, dropped the shocking news, just four days after Gbagbo returned to Ivory Coast following a decade’s absence, during which he was tried for crimes against humanity during the post-election conflict of 2010-11.
In April 2011, Simone Gbagbo was arrested with her husband after refusing to admit defeat, sparking a conflict that resulted in the deaths of about 3,000 people.
Gbagbo was however acquitted in March, after a prolonged trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Simone Gbagbo was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in Ivory Coast for “violating state security”, but was released in 2018 after seven years of detention as part of an amnesty.
Gbagbo’s return came after his once bitter rival and current President Alassane Ouattara accepted his return in the name of national reconciliation.
Laurent and Simone Gbagbo have two daughters. They married in 1989 and ran for multi-party elections together in the 1990s.