Model Rachel Hunter has mysteriously dropped divorce proceedings against ageing rocker Rod Stewart.

The 32-year-old New Zealand beauty asked a Los Angeles judge to dismiss the case - only three days after filing divorce papers.

A battle over the financial settlement had appeared inevitable, with Stewart said to be worth an estimated $100 million (GBP2.5 million), but a single-page document - headed with Hunter's BD390548 case number - confirmed the divorce was no longer going ahead.

Her lawyer has declined to explain why she had such an apparently dramatic change of heart. However, speculation centred on the couple having come to an agreement on money, which would avoid them an expensive legal process.

But some insiders suspect Hunter has heard rumours that Stewart plans to marry girlfriend PENNY LANCASTER - and is determined to make things difficult for him.

Stewart, 57, married Hunter in 1990, and they separated four years ago.

01/07/2003 14:14