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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Bruno to divorce
Laura and Frank Bruno
Frank Bruno and wife Laura announced their split last year
Former boxer Frank Bruno is to divorce from his wife Laura after 11 years of marriage, it has emerged.

A spokeswoman for Mrs Bruno said she wanted to make her position clear following alleged remarks made by Mr Bruno in a television show.

In the BBC One programme Celebrity Sleepovers, which is being broadcast on Thursday night, Mr Bruno allegedly makes disparaging comments about his wife and family.

Frank and Laura Bruno
The couple married in 1990 and have three children
Mrs Bruno issued a statement which read: "In advance of Thursday night's BBC One television programme Celebrity Sleepovers, Laura Bruno wishes it to be known that she and Frank Bruno are nearing the completion of their divorce proceedings.

"Laura has no wish to comment further."

They have been together for 20 years and have three children.

Business role

The couple met when Laura was 19 and married in 1990 at a church in Hornchurch, Essex.

As he found fame as a boxer and TV celebrity she became his manager, looking after his financial affairs and dealing with the media.

In 1997 it was reported the couple's marriage was in trouble but they maintained they were not considering divorce or separation.

The pair announced they were splitting up in June last year.

Mr Bruno, 38, grew up with five brothers and sisters in a terraced house in south London where his parents had settled on their arrival from the Caribbean.

Childhood ambition

He learned to box while he was at Oak Hall in Sussex, an establishment for "problem" children.

His childhood ambition was to be world heavyweight champion and he won the ABA heavyweight championship at the age of 18.

He won his first professional fight against Lupe Guerra in 1982 and in 1995 he finally won the world heavyweight title - at the third time of asking - after beating Oliver McCall at Wembley.

He later lost the title to Mike Tyson.

One of the UK's most popular sportsmen, Mr Bruno is now well known for his pantomime performances.

See also:

20 Jun 00 | UK
Frank Bruno marriage ends
12 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Blow for Bruno's election plan
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