SIR Anthony Hopkins' ex-wife is bemused at the actor's desire to be an American citizen - because he's always been championed by awards bosses and the media in his native Britain.

JENNI LYNTON - who was married to the OSCAR-winning star for 29 years - believes the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS star was keen to distance himself from Britain in an attempt to gain credibility as an American citizen.

Lynton says, "He was given every honour going and very rarely had anything critical or derogatory written about him as either a person or an actor.

"The only reason I can come up with is that he wanted some excuse to validate his desire to live a new life as a US citizen.

"But who knows, maybe those things will change one day."

Hopkins is now married to antiques dealer Stella Arroyave, whom he wed in March 2003.

12/04/2004 13:22