It is always a shame to hear that people who were once in love have filed for divorce, especially after many years of marriage. While the reasons for divorce vary from couple to couple, many split because of infidelity, money or the ever popular irreconcilable differences. Many times the couple will try to work out their differences, but when it does not work, divorce is the only option. If you are lucky, your divorce might end on a good note, with both parties agreeing to the terms without turning the whole thing into a full on battle. This not only takes a great emotional toll on the couples and their families, but it can also be quite expensive, sometimes even hovering into high stakes territory. Plus, the nastier the divorce, the bigger the settlement turns out to be.
This is especially true for celebrities, whose assets can reach well into the billions, especially if a prenup was not part of the picture. While some seemed to split everything down the middle, others went for the jugular and really tried to squeeze out every dime they could. Some even included stipulations that were so extreme, the wife would lose everything if she went against them. Here is a look at some of the most expensive divorces of all time, with numbers so high you will probably fall out of your chair.
10. Michael and Juanita Jordan
Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan’s divorce from wife Juanita, came after seventeen years of marriage together. They had thought of getting divorced in 2002, but the couple worked it out and stayed together until 2006, when they officially split up. The price tag of the entire ordeal: One hundred and sixty eight million dollars. The former Mrs. Jordan also received a 7-acre estate in Chicago and custody of their children. According to court documents, the pair split due to irreconcilable differences that caused a breakdown of their marriage. They tried to work it out, but were unsuccessful, and felt that if they kept trying it would not be in the best interest for anyone involved.
9. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
By now, everyone should know the reason why this couple of twenty-five years got divorced. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was also the Governor of California, fathered a child with a former maid. California law dictates that couples split their stuff fifty-fifty, and since the Terminator star did not have a prenup with then wife Maria Shriver, he had to fork over a good amount. The final figure was never revealed, however estimates of Schwarzenegger’s estate range from five hundred million to seven hundred and fifty million. Half of that meant a pretty penny for Ms. Shriver.
8. Robert and Sheila Johnson
BET co-founder and first African American billionaire, Robert Johnson split with his wife Sheila in 2000 after almost thirty years of marriage. When the case was settled, Sheila received around four hundred million dollars in the settlement. Both still ownership of several businesses and sports teams. To add more insult to injury, Sheila married William T. Newman in 2005; the guy who presided over her original divorce case. All we can say here is “wow”.
7. Mel and Robyn Gibson
Considered one of the biggest celebrity divorces of all-time is the separation of Mel Gibson to his wife of thirty one years, Robyn, in 2011. This occurred after photos of Gibson in an embrace with Russian singer Oksana Grigorieva, surfaced two years earlier. The Braveheart director had to give up half of his eight hundred and fifty million dollar estate, and also any future residuals from his films. After he and Gregorieva split up, he was then asked to pay seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in child support, which was in addition to a multi-million dollar settlement. Like Arnold, Mel Gibson did not have a prenup.
6. Steve and Elaine Wynn
Steve and Elaine Wynn actually have an interesting divorce history. The couple first divorced in 1986, then again in 2010. After he filed for divorce, the casino mogul was asked to give Elaine seven hundred and forty one million in Wynn Resort stock. The former Mrs. Wynn became one of the largest shareholders, and still remains one. The stock started in the mid-sixty dollar range, then rose to one hundred and thirty dollars per share in 2014. Given that she now has about 9.7 million shares, her total adds up to a lot of cash.
5. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
Pro Golfer Tiger Woods was the hero to many, which is why it was such a shock to find out his extramarital activities when he was away from wife Elin Nordegren. Nordegren, a former model, received seven hundred and fifty million dollars, but it came with another hefty price: her silence. In exchange for the money, Nordegren has to keep mum on all of Woods’ outside activities. That meant no interviews, no books or any type of TV appearance, or else she would lose it all. Elin, however, got Tiger to agree to not bringing any of his girlfriends around their children, unless he just happens to get married again.
4. Madonna and Guy Ritchie
In December 2000, superstar Madonna married director Guy Ritchie, during a very lavish ceremony. Four years later, they renewed their vows at Ritchie’s Wiltshire Estates. In 2008, the two separated, a few months after adopting their second child, David Banda. The split did not come cheap for the Material Girl. It is rumored that the divorce cost between seventy six million and ninety two million dollars. Though the two tried to downplay any type of separation, people started noticing subtle changes in their relationship as time went on. The reason for the split: the romance simply died.
3. Rupert and Anna Murdoch
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his former wife Anna were married for more than 32 years before the couple separated amicably in 1998. The divorce was later finalized in 1999. Anna received around 1.7 billion of Murdoch’s fortune, which also gave her one hundred and ten million in cash. Just seventeen days later, Murdoch married Wendi Deng, a woman thirty eight years his junior, and Anna married investor William Mann a few months after that. Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng in 2013, but this time he had a prenup done.
2. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein
When art dealer Alec Wildenstein divorced from his wife Jocelyn in 1999, she was given 2.5 billion dollars and an annual one hundred million for thirteen years. Jocelyn was known for being a little plastic surgery crazy, and had many procedures done over the years. Though through a judge’s order, she was not allowed to use any of her alimony payments for cosmetic surgery. Wildenstein was reported to have spent over four million on plastic surgery in order to please her husband. Alec Wildenstein died in 2008 from cancer. He was sixty-eight years old.
1. Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and his former wife Elena, were married for twenty-six years before the couple filed for divorce. The fertilizer king was reportedly ordered to give Elena more than half of his eight billion dollar fortune, which when you think about it, is equal to one hundred and eighty four million dollars for each year the pair were married. Rybolovlev was also forced to give her one hundred and forty six million in property, along with alimony that was around one hundred and fifty million dollars. He also had to give a lump sum of seven and a half million dollars for child support, which was accompanied with one hundred and fifty dollars a month.
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