Britney Spears reportedly rewarded ex-husband Jason Alexander with $540,000 (GBP300,000), for agreeing to annul their 55 hour marriage.

The couple - childhood pals - shocked the world when it was revealed they had tied the knot in a late night Las Vegas ceremony earlier this month (JAN04).

Britney quickly decided she'd made a mistake and talked Jason into ending their union, at the panicked advice of her mother and aides - who feared she may have to forfeit half her fortune.

But it seems the annulment came at a price - after hours of negotiations with Britney's advisers, Alexander reportedly agreed to dissolve the marriage and was rewarded with the impressive sum.

A source close to the singer says, "Whether there was any money offered is being kept a big secret.

"I know her advisers went mad when she told them and were desperate to get the marriage annulled.

"They were terrified she might have to give away half her earnings, but luckily that crisis was averted."

16/01/2004 12:53