The Most Expensive Divorce Settlements Ever Made
Divorce is never a positive experience for anyone. Couples try to work it out, but splitting up is sometimes the only answer. Aside from the misery of the partners, any children involved face substantial life changes. Overall, it takes quite an emotional toll, but what about the financial fallout?
For the rich and famous, divorces often turn into frantic scrambles to walk away with the most cash and assets. With careers that often earn them millions, celebrities tend to have a lot more on the line financially. Let’s take a look at some shockingly high divorce settlements that set some ex-spouses up for life — and beyond.
35. Slash and Perla Ferrar, $6.6 million
In 2001, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash wed Perla Ferrar in Hawaii. After divorcing his first wife Renée Suran back in 1997, the musician believed he had found the woman of his dreams in Ferrar. The couple had two boys together: London Emilio and Cash Anthony.
34. Lionel Richie and Diane Alexander, $20 million
While married to high school sweetheart Brenda Harvey, Lionel Richie cheated with Diane Alexander. After Richie's divorce from Harvey, Alexander officially stepped in as his new leading lady, and the two tied the knot in 1995. They increased their family with son Miles and daughter Sofia.
33. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, $25 million
Rolling Stones' singer Mick Jagger's relationship with model Jerry Hall proved to be an interesting one. In 1990, the two had an unofficial wedding ceremony in Indonesia. While living in London, they had four kids together, including models Georgia May and Elizabeth Scarlett.
32. Kelsey Grammer and Camille Grammer-Meyer, $30 million
Of actor Kelsey Grammer's four marriages, his 1997 marriage to Camille Grammer-Meyer cost him the most. The two got married one year after meeting each other on a blind date, and they have a daughter and a son together. They also owned multiple houses together.
31. Ted Danson and Casey Coates, $30 million
In 1977, Cheers star Ted Danson and producer Casey Coates said "I do" in front of friends and family. Two years later, tragedy struck as Coates suffered a stroke while giving birth to their daughter, Kate. Danson stood firmly by her side as she recovered following the incident.
30. Martin Sorrell and Sandra Finestone, $35 million
In 1970, WPP plc founder Martin Sorrell found love in American-born Sandra Finestone. The couple has three sons together and had been married for 35 years when Finestone ended things in 2003. She stated Sorrell's constant work schedule made her feel unwanted.
29. Michael and Diandra Douglas, $45 million
At the age of 32, Michael Douglas married 19-year-old Diandra Luker in 1977. The pair only knew each other for nine weeks before taking the big plunge. One year after their marriage, their son, Cameron, was born.
28. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, $48 million
Following the death of his first wife, Linda Eastman, singer Paul McCartney didn't expect to find love again, but he was swept off his feet by former model Heather Mills. In 2002, the couple tied the knot inside Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland.
27. Johnny Carson and Joanna Holland, $48 million
Tonight Show host Johnny Carson and Joanna Holland secretly married in 1972. Aww, how romantic. But in 1983, the two called it quits after being together for 11 years. The divorce wasn't quick and easy though.
26. James Cameron and Linda Hamilton, $50 million
Director James Cameron and actress Linda Hamilton first met while shooting The Terminator. Before the film, Cameron had already had two messy divorces. Following Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the two began dating. After the birth of their daughter, they got married in 1997.
25. Kenny Rogers and Marianne Gordon, $60 million
When it comes to marriages, Grammy-winning singer Kenny Rogers gambled far too much. Before meeting Marianne Gordon, he had three failed marriages. One year after divorcing his third wife, Margo Anderson, Rogers married Gordon. In 1982, they welcomed their only son, Christopher Cody.
24. Aga and Inaara Aga Khan, $78 million
Worth $3 billion, Aga Khan IV is one of the richest royals on the planet. In 1998, the businessman wed Gabriele Renate Homey. The bride changed her name to Inaara Aga Khan following her conversion to Islam. In 2000, Khan's third son, Aly Muhammad Aga Khan, was born.
23. Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva, $80 million
While attending California State University, Kevin Costner met Cindy Silva, and the two married in 1978. At that point, Costner only dreamed of making it big in Hollywood. Silva stuck by his side as his popularity grew with films such as The Untouchables and No Way Out.
22. Madonna and Guy Ritchie, $80 million
A decade after her marriage to Sean Penn, Madonna went for round two with Guy Ritchie. The two met while attending a dinner party hosted by Trudie Styler. In 2000, they got married inside Scotland's Skibo Castle. Richie worked with Madonna on his 2002 film, Swept Away.
21. Khoo Kay Peng and Pauline Chai, $83 million
In 2013, Malaysian tycoon Khoo Kay Peng and former beauty queen Pauline Chai filed for divorce. The two were married for more than 46 years. They also have five children together. Chai moved to Hertfordshire while Peng stayed in Malaysia during their fight.
20. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving, $100 million
In 1976, director Steven Spielberg began a relationship with Amy Irving. Following a bad breakup, he dropped Irving from Raiders of the Lost Ark as a form of revenge. The resentment was obviously temporary, because the pair got back together and eventually married in 1985.
19. Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy, $105 million
World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman's random run-in with flight attendant Laura Andrassy eventually resulted in marriage. The couple brought two children into the world: Greg Norman Jr. and Morgan-Leigh. During the marriage, Norman started an affair with interior designer Kirsten Kutner.
18. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, $110 million
Golfer Tiger Woods first met former model Elin Nordegren at the 2001 Open Championship. A few years later, they got married at the Sandy Lane resort in Barbados. While Woods was busy playing in tournaments, Nordegren took care of their two kids.
17. Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison, $118 million
While filming Apocalypse Now, Harrison Ford met Melissa Mathison, who was a film assistant at the time. In 1983, Ford and Mathison tied the knot. When they weren't on set, Ford and Mathison raised their son, Malcolm, and daughter, Georgia, together.
16. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, $130 million
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman felt sparks while filming 1990's Days of Thunder. Months after the film's release, the couple tied the knot. Their quick marriage was the talk of the town. During their 10-year marriage, they adopted their daughter, Isabella Jane, and their son, Connor Antony.
15. Frank and Jamie McCourt, $148 million
Los Angeles is known for ugly Hollywood splits, but the notorious divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt is an epic tale. During their marriage, the McCourts were co-owners of the L.A. Dodgers. But once word got around about Jamie McCourt's affair, Frank McCourt quickly fired her.
14. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey, $150 million
Beloved pop star Neil Diamond had a long relationship with production assistant Marcia Murphey. With his marriage to Jayne Posner behind him, Diamond made Murphey his wife in 1969. Their 25 years together resulted in two sons, Jesse and Micah. She became Diamond's muse during some rough times.
13. Michael and Juanita Jordan, $168 million
While playing with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan met Juanita Vanoy at a restaurant. After some time dating, the couple had a Las Vegas wedding in 1989. Following his marriage, Jordan became one of the biggest NBA players in the '90s.
12. Charles Fipke and Marlene Fipke, $200 million
Geologist Charles Fipke married Marlene Fipke a little after Christmas in 1966. The two were high school sweethearts, who traveled and worked together later on in their lives. The pair were also together when Charles Fipke discovered Canada's first diamond mine.
11. Robert and Sheila Johnson, $400 million
While cutting their teeth in the television industry, Robert Johnson married Sheila Crump in 1969. The pair formed a strong connection while delivering groundbreaking television to the masses. In 1980, they co-founded the popular cable network BET. In 1999, they sold the channel to Viacom.
10. Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore, $425 million
Actor Mel Gibson met Robyn Denise Moore while filming Gibson's breakthrough film Mad Max. At the time, he was still a struggling actor in Hollywood. In 1980, they got married in Forestville, New South Wales. Their marriage resulted in six children, including budding actor Milo.
9. Craig and Wendy McCaw, $460 million
Craig McCaw and Wendy Petrak both attended Stanford University to further their forthcoming successful careers. The pair couldn't get enough of each other and got married in 1974. Years after their marriage, McCaw Cellular turned McCaw into the highest-paid CEO in the country.
8. Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev, $604 million
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev married his first wife, Elena, in 1987. Although the couple taught their two daughters (Ekaterina and Anna) right from wrong, Rybolovlev chose not to practice what he preached. Elena filed for divorce in 2008 because of his numerous infidelities.
7. Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi, $874 million
With a net worth of $4 billion, Saudi Arabian businessman Adnan Khashoggi enjoyed flaunting his money. Sandra Daly was in awe of Khashoggi's authority, and the two were married in the '60s. Before the marriage, Daly converted to Islam and changed her name to Soraya.
6. Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall, $975 million
Oil entrepreneur Harold Hamm quickly took another chance at love after divorcing his first wife Judith Ann in 1987. The following year, he wed lawyer Sue Ann Arnall. Much like Hamm, Arnall also worked in the oil business with roles at Continental Resources.
5. Steve and Elaine Wynn, $1 billion
If you have visited a Wynn Resort, you'd know that those institutions are extremely extravagant. Here's the not-so-happy ending of the Wynn's cofounders. Steve and Elaine Wynn are Las Vegas casino big shots. The pair were married between 1963 and 1986.
4. Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone, $1.2 billion
Formula One Group Chairman Emeritus Bernie Ecclestone enjoyed the rush of race cars in his profession. During a race, he met model Slavica Radić. Although he was 28 years older than Radić, their love trumped their age, and the two married in 1985.
3. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Maria Torv, $1.7 billion
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has impacted the way the world sees news. In 1967, he married Australian journalist Anna Maria Torv, who worked for his own newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. Their three kids — Elisabeth, Lachlan and James — have joined them in the news game as CEOs and media executives.
2. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein, $5.7 billion
The 1999 Wildenstein divorce started and ended messily. After Jocelyn Wildenstein caught her ex-husband having an affair, domestic incidents ensued. The presiding judge, Marilyn Diamond, even received death threats by mail. Plus, it didn't help that the paparazzi put a spotlight on their drama.
1. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos, $35 billion
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will go down as someone with far too much money in his hands. Before his success, Bezos met novelist MacKenzie Tuttle at New York hedge fund D. E. Shaw. One year after their meeting, the couple got hitched in 1993.