In Hollywood, a celebrity divorce is just as big news as a celebrity wedding, if not bigger. Yet, some of the wealthiest celebrities in history have ignored the practical side of walking down the aisle, and just done away with the concept of a prenuptial agreement. In many cases, celebrities end up forking over millions in exchange for a divorce. The thought seems outrageous, how can people with so much money and be so careless with their earnings? Especially when so much is at stake. Most often the couple will respond claiming that they were so hopelessly in love that they didn’t see the need to prioritize any monetary agreement. It’s not always a sad case though, sometimes the person coming into the marriage without funds ends up leaving much richer! Here are 10 celebrities couples that decided to forego the prenup in exchange for a happily ever after.
10. Russell Brand & Katy Perry – Divorced
Grammy-nominated pop star Katy Perry, and British comedian Russell Brand got married in October 2010, after a whirlwind romance that lasted all of 13 months. It all happened so fast that they forgot to sign a prenup before the extravagant ceremony in India. When Brand filed for divorce after 14 months of marriage, there was a possibility that he could walk away with half of Katy’s $55 million fortune. But he took the highroad and not only left her bank account alone, but signed the $6.5 million house they bought together, over to her. He has since said, “I’ve got a good job. All I want to do is live a good life. I’m not into taking money from women.” Perry reportedly signed the divorce papers with a happy face and a heart. Theirs may be the most amicable celebrity divorce of all time.
9. Kelsey & Camille Grammer – Divorced
Kelsey Grammer was the highest paid actor on television during Frasier’s 11-year run, making about $1.6 million per episode near the end, but according to his third wife, Camille, he was never good with his money. When she filed for divorce in July 2010 after 13 years of marriage, she had no qualms about going after half of the actor’s $120 million fortune. And without a prenup, he had no way of stopping her. Camille was also one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so she wasn’t exactly strapped for cash. In her version of events, Kelsey was broke and hooked on drugs when they first got together, and she was entitled to half of his money because if it wasn’t for her, he would have let it all go to waste anyway. Kelsey went on to remarry 2 weeks after his divorce was finalized.
8. Reese Witherspoon & Ryan Phillippe – Divorced
When they got married in 1999, they were both rising stars, but it turned out Reese had a bit more going for her than Ryan did. She ended up winning an Academy Award for her role in Walk the Line, and her per movie income shot up to $20 million, while Ryan’s lingered around $2.5 million. When they filed for divorce in 2005, Phillippe was entitled to half of her earnings during their relationship. You could chock it up to being young and in love, but Reese recently got hitched again, to talent agent, Jim Toth, and guess what? No prenup to protect her now $80 million net worth.
7. Madonna & Guy Ritchie – Divorced
Madonna, one of the most famous pop stars of all time, is an entertainer who is not afraid to push the envelope. She married Guy Ritchie in 2000 without a prenup, despite a vast hard-earned fortune. She was worth an estimated $500 million when she filed for divorce from her director husband of 8 years. He didn’t need the money, as he was worth approximately $45 million all on his own, but Madonna ended up forking over up to $92 million to end their marriage. She is now worth closer to $650 million, so the divorce didn’t affect her bank account too much.
6. Roseanne Barr & Tom Arnold – Divorce
Roseanne was so in love with fellow comedian, Tom Arnold, that she actually fired her lawyer when he suggested she sign a prenup. She had just recently gotten divorced from the father of her 3 children (only 4 days earlier), and her whirlwind romance with Arnold was more important than protecting her fortune. But she found that love does not conquer all when they filed for divorce in 1994, after 4 years of marriage. Their attempts to have children were unsuccessful and they cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their divorce. Arnold walked away with $50 million, and a tattoo of Roseanne’s face on his chest.
5. Larry King and Shawn Southwick – Married
These two may not be divorced, but they have come close. There were allegations that King cheated on his wife with her own sister, but lucky for him, they ended up reconciling. This is King’s eighth marriage, but he didn’t think it was necessary to get a prenup, despite his estimated $150 million net worth. Southwick has joked that this is King’s only marriage to last into the double digits, so maybe this one is the real deal. They have two children together.
4. Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey – Divorced
Innocent, virginal pop star Jessica Simpson wouldn’t even let the word “divorce” into her vocabulary when she married boy band member, Nick Lachey in 2002. So, naturally, a prenup was out of the question. She may have regretted that decision when they filed for divorce in 2005, and her net worth was in the vicinity of $35 million. She reportedly offered Lachey a $1.5 million settlement, but he held out for a higher number. He ended up getting what he wanted, but it was still significantly less than half her earnings. Her net worth has grown to $100 million since then, so Simpson’s next marriage is sure to include an ironclad prenup.
3. Paul McCartney & Heather Mills – Divorced
The former Beatle married model Heather Mills in a $3.2 million ceremony in 2002 without signing a prenup, despite everyone urging him to sign one. After his first marriage of 29-years ended because his wife passed away, a romantic McCartney didn’t believe a prenup was necessary. He realized he was wrong, and has admitted marrying Mills was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. She went after a large a sum of his fortune, but ended up being awarded much less, walking away with $35 million of McCartney’s estimated $800 million. McCartney has since been re-married, again without a prenup.
2. Jennifer Lopez & Cris Judd – Divorced
When Jennifer Lopez married back up dancer Cris Judd in 2001 , she opted to go without the prenup. There was speculation that their relationship was a rebound for Lopez, as she had just broken off her 3-year relationship with rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs. Her marriage to Judd lasted less than a year and after only 9 months of wedded bliss, Judd ended up getting $15 million of Lopez’s net worth. He may not have set out to make money off their relationship, but Lopez didn’t learn much from the experience and skipped the prenup yet again when she wed Marc Anthony, whom she is now also divorced from. Still, Lopez is worth an estimated $250 million.
1. Prince William and Kate Middleton – Married
Prenups have recently been made binding in English law, but the option was never brought up. Prince William and Kate Middleton are not overly wealthy in their own rights, but they both come from families of considerable influence and stand to inherit quite a bit. The Prince inherited $6.5 million from his mother, and it has grown substantially since then. The Middleton family has an estimated net worth of $50 million, but Kate herself has no income. In the event of a divorce, it would be up to lawyers to negotiate a settlement. Royal divorces in the past have yielded as much as a $17 million pay out (Prince Charles and Diana) and as little as $15 000 a year (Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York) For now, they remain in marital bliss, with a new Prince added to the lineup to the throne.
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