Former chancellor Gerhard Schröder said to have split from fourth wife

Reports and cause of split ‘private matters’, says ex-chancellor’s office

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder: married  to journalist turned politician Doris Schröder-Kopf for 17 years. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder: married to journalist turned politician Doris Schröder-Kopf for 17 years. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

 

In office and she served as first lady during his seven-year term to 2005.

The couple married in 1997 after Mr Schröder left his third wife for her.

Together with his fourth wife, 19 years his junior, he adopted two children aged 10 and 14 from Russian orphanages.

Locals in their home town of Hanover said news of the breakup was not a complete surprise, as the couple had not been seen together in public for some time.

Mr Schröder’s Berlin office declined to comment when contacted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily, saying the reports and the cause of the split were “private matters”.

According to reports, Mr Schröder had complained that his wife’s political career in the Lower Saxon state parliament where he once served as governor was taking up too much of her time, shifting domestic duties onto him.

Since leaving office, Mr Schröder has worked as a lawyer and as an adviser for private firms, including a controversial consultancy as chairman of the Nord Stream gas pipeline supervisory board.