Judge OKs Divorce for Jerry Lee Lewis

A judge in Mississippi has approved a divorce settlement between "Great Balls of Fire" musician Jerry Lee Lewis (search) and his sixth wife, Kerrie Lynn McCarver Lewis, and promptly sealed the court records.

The settlement was reached Wednesday, the same day the case was to go to trial.

"It's been a long day and it's been an expensive day," Lewis said outside the courthouse.

The Commercial Appeal, quoting sources familiar with the case, said Kerrie Lewis, 42, would receive $250,000 immediately and $30,000 a year for five years.

Lewis, 69, is known for such hits as "Great Balls of Fire" (search) and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On." He married Kerrie Lynn McCarver on April 24, 1984. They lived together at his 40-acre ranch near Nesbit in north Mississippi.

Lewis also will pay $20,000 in child support annually for four years for 18-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis III, the newspaper reported.

Lewis will keep his ranch.

"Sure, I plan to live there," Lewis told the newspaper. "It's been my home for about the past 40 years. That's where I'm going to be."

Jerry Lee had accused Kerrie of adultery and she had questioned his marital fidelity.

Kerrie had claimed that Lewis and his daughter, Phoebe, had hidden assets from her. leaving her and Jerry Lee Lewis III penniless.

She claimed her husband's income topped $1 million annually.

Attorneys declined comment on the case, citing the judge's order sealing the records.

J.W. Whitten, Lewis' road manager, said uncertainty about court dates had prevented Lewis from accepting a number of long-term bookings.

Whitten said the settlement clears the way for Lewis to resume a regular concert schedule and to complete work on an album scheduled to be released this fall.

"We leave for Europe June 24," he said. "We needed this to be over just so we could get back to making some money."