London: An Italian couple could create a new record of becoming the world's oldest divorcees, with a 99-year-old husband moving a court after he found that his 96-year-old wife had an affair in the 1940s, a report said.
The Italian man, identified by lawyers in the case only as Antonio C, was rifling through an old chest of drawers when he made the discovery a few days before Christmas this year.
Notwithstanding the time that had elapsed since the betrayal, he was so upset that he immediately confronted his wife of 77 years, named as Rosa C, and demanded a divorce, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
Guilt-stricken, she reportedly confessed to everything but was unable to persuade her husband to reconsider his decision, the newspaper said.
In fact, she wrote the letters to her lover during a secret affair in the 1940s, according to court papers released in Rome this week.
The couple is now preparing to split, despite the ties they forged over nearly eight decades -- they have five children, a dozen grandchildren and one great-grand child.
The discovery of the letters was the final straw for a marriage which had already run into difficulty -- 10 years ago the husband briefly left their house in Rome and moved in with one of his sons, only to return a few weeks later.
The couple met during the 1930s when Antonio was posted as a young Carabinieri officer to Naples.
The case appears to set a new record, at least for the age of the oldest protagonist -- the previous oldest couple to divorce were Bertie and Jessie Wood, both aged 98, from UK.
The pair ended their 36-year marriage in 2009 when they were both two years away from their 100th birthdays.