LATEST: Showbiz legend Liza Minnelli has filed for divorce from her estranged husband DAVID GEST - just one day after he filed a lawsuit against her for allegedly beating him up.

The singer and actress has rebuffed Gest's claims of drunken violence against him as "rubbish", and yesterday (22OCT03) moved to legally end the 16-month marriage, following their separation in July (03).

Gest's lawyer, RAOUL FELDER, welcomed the move, saying, "Obviously these people should be divorced. This marriage is dead, no doubt about it."

Concert promoter Gest is suing his former love for $10 million (GBP5.9 million), and is currently holed up at a rehabilitation clinic in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he is taking 11 different medications a day, ostensibly linked to Minnelli's alleged attacks.

Minnelli said yesterday (22OCT03), "I hoped very much that the end of my marriage would be handled with mutual respect and dignity. The allegations in this lawsuit are hurtful and without merit."

Shortly after issuing the statement, she filed for divorce at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York.

Minnelli's publicist LIZ ROSENBERG says, "I know that the papers were filed, and I know that is something that has been in the works. I think it was a coincidence that it happened one day after the other."

The pair wed in a lavish celebrity-studded ceremony in March 2002.

23/10/2003 17:35