The divorce settlement between diminutive Hollywood heart-throb Tom Cruise and his unemployed wife Kate (nee Katie) Holmes - which had become increasingly acrimonious in recent days - was finally resolved late Sunday when Tom magnanimously agreed to retain sole possession of the Beckhams' friendship.
Lawyers had feared that several other issues would prove to be irreconcilable hurdles but they were dealt with surprisingly quickly. The couple's daughter Suri will shortly be halved in a traditional Scientological ceremony and ownership of the top and the bottom of the corpse determined by the toss of a coin, both parties will leave the relationship with whatever funds they brought to it plus anything individually earned during its duration +/- 5%, Katie's acting lessons will continue to be funded from an anonymous blind trust overseen by a mysterious eunoch, and Tom's velveteen foot-stool will be auctioned on an Oprah Winfrey prime-time special with proceeds used to create a Museum of Restricted Height Awareness in the Mid-West.
But Friday's settlement conference had broken down after seven hours of negotiations when neither Tom nor Katie would accept responsibility for maintaining an ongoing relationship with their erstwhile Los Angeles acquaintances, David and Victoria Beckham. Lawyers for both sides made a tentative proposal to the Beckhams on Saturday that maybe, given the unfortunate circumstances, the two couples could just go their separate ways but were roundly rebuffed.
Finally, just a few minutes before midnight on Sunday - just as concerned onlookers feared that the Cruise-Holmes marriage might have to limp on in order to facilitate the Beckhams' regular Thursday evening jellied eel and domino soirees and impromptu cardigan shopping excursions - Tom graciously accepted all responsibility for the Beckhams and absolved his much relieved ex-wife of that crippling responsibility.
Accordingly, papers were biked around and signed early this morning and, following a brief court hearing expected in the next fortnight, this alarming and macabre relationship which has so traumatised the western world can finally be laid to rest.