Divorce can be a messy process, even if you’re not a celebrity. The proceedings can be lengthy, there are often disagreements about custody, and when there’s lots of money involved, things can get pretty crazy.
No one likes divorce, but unfortunately, it happens to a lot of couples. When you’re famous, details about a divorce can be just as prevalent in entertainment news as a celebrity marriage or a baby announcement. This, of course, makes the process even more difficult. People in Hollywood are known for having short (or multiple) marriages, so some people think that celebrities want their divorces to be public knowledge, since it counts as “publicity,” even if it’s not the most favorable kind. Then again, the public is also obsessed with every aspect of celebrity life, which is why many famous people can’t get any privacy, even when they’re going through something difficult like the dissolution of their marriage.
While the divorce itself can be devastating, it’s even more disheartening to know that some celebrities don’t walk away with any alimony after breaking up with their famous spouses. This could lead to a significant life change, and the children of the divorced couple sometimes suffer as well. Here are 12 celebs who were left with nothing after their marriages ended.
12 Porsha Williams
Porsha Williams is best known as a cast member of the reality show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and is currently a radio host on comedian Ricky Smiley’s show. She was once married to football player Kordell Stewart, but the marriage ended after just a few years. There were reports that Stewart was too controlling, and he may have confirmed these suspicions when he refused to give Porsha any of his assets in the divorce. Williams even had to pay off her credit card debt herself. Rumors were also swirling that Kordell was bisexual, and that he was possibly dating Towanda Braxton before his divorce from Porsha was final. So, maybe it’s best that Williams no longer has any financial ties to Stewart.
11 Dita Von Teese
Burlesque star and beauty enthusiast Dita Von Teese was once married to Marilyn Manson. It’s hard to believe, but the rocker found it impossible to stay faithful to the buxom, dark-haired Von Teese. When their marriage ended, Dita decided that she didn’t want anything that reminded her of Manson. Even though Marilyn Manson was worth millions, Von Teese didn’t even take the furniture from the home they once shared. She said that she knew that an “inappropriate relationship” was going on in their home, and she didn’t want to have to relive that by taking a sofa or bed into her new residence. She seems to be doing pretty well on her own, so good for her.
10 Kris Humphries
Who could forget that time basketball player Kris Humphries was Kim Kardashian’s husband for a whole 72 days? The reason why it took a couple of years for the two to officially end their marriage is because Humphries was demanding $7 million from Kim in the divorce settlement. Humphries also proposed that the marriage be annulled, and that the Kardashians should be sued for fraud, since he believes Kim only married him for TV ratings. However, when a judge made the final decision about the marriage, Kris walked away with nothing. That’s probably for the best. He’s already known as the former Mr. Kim Kardashian, but he’d probably get even more criticism if he were still living off her money.
9 Surata McCants
Surata McCants got her 15 minutes of fame when she married American Idol alum Ruben Studdard. Apparently, Surata was a fan of Studdard’s, and met him at a CD signing at Wal-Mart. The two had a very short courtship and marriage, and apparently, things didn’t end well. Perhaps Ruben finally realized that Surata was just looking for a payday. When the divorce details were being worked out, Studdard made sure that McCants didn’t get any of his money. As a matter of fact, he was so serious about this that he didn’t even let Surata keep her engagement ring! That’s what happens sometimes when you marry for money.
8 Michelle Ghent
Michelle Ghent is actor Terrence Howard’s ex-wife. She was actually entitled to some money in their divorce ($325,000 in spousal support, to be exact), but at the time, Howard claimed that he couldn’t pay her that amount. He was only making $6,000 per month, so the spousal support amount just wasn’t in his budget. However, Terrance has gone back to court to contest the order to pay. He still hasn’t given Ghent anything, so we’re guessing these proceedings are going to go on for quite some time, even though we’re pretty sure Howard is making lots of money due to the success of his show, Empire.
7 Nigella Lawson
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson made headlines in the worst way when it was alleged that her then-husband Charles Saatchi was physically abusing her. She didn’t want to speak about it publicly, but soon after there were reports that she had been choked by her husband, the two got a divorce. It’s a good thing Nigella had already made a name for herself with her cooking shows, recipe books and television appearances, which meant she didn’t have to keep depending on Saatchi for anything. She reportedly didn’t want anything from Saatchi’s estate, and left the divorce with nothing. Sometimes it’s better that way.
6 Zooey Deschanel
For a few years, actress and singer Zooey Deschanel was married to Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. Many of her fans didn’t even know that she was married, so when the couple divorced in 2012, it came as a big shock. Since they both have their own money (and because they likely wanted to get the divorce over with as soon as possible), Zooey agreed to leave the marriage with nothing. Apparently, Gibbard agreed to do the same, so it was a pretty clean break. Deschanel is now married to producer Josh Pechenik, and the two have a daughter together.
5 Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli
Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli were married for about 12 years. The actors seemed to be really in love, so it came as a shock when they decided to get a divorce in 2013. Apparently, they still had a lot of respect for each other, and didn’t want things to get messy, which is rare in Hollywood (or in the “real world,” for that matter). The pair decided not to ask for any money from each other in the divorce, but instead set up a joint bank account for their daughters. This is actually a great idea, and it may benefit other divorcing celebs to look at their example of civilized behavior.
4 LisaRaye McCoy
Actress and producer LisaRay McCoy was once married to the former prince of Turks and Caicos. This seems like a pretty prestigious “position,” but McCoy has made it clear that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The prenuptial agreement LisaRaye signed indicated that she was entitled to money if she and the prince ever divorced, but now it looks like she may not get anything. Her former husband is having some major financial troubles, and may even be facing time in jail. It looks like McCoy has moved on with her life (she had a brief relationship with pastor Noel Jones), so maybe she won’t fight for the divorce settlement money anymore, since it could take years for her to get even a fraction of what she’s owed.
3 Stephanie March
Actress Stephanie March was married to celebrity chef Bobby Flay, for about a decade. When the two decided to split, March argued that she was entitled to some of Flay’s money because she performed “quality control” over his recipes. Interesting. She likely saw that Bobby’s career was really taking off, since he now has shows on both Food Network and Cooking Channel. However, the two signed a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, and the judge ruled that they had to stick to the agreement, which meant that Stephanie left the marriage with nothing. Fortunately, the two didn’t have any children, or things could have gotten even messier in the divorce.
2 Russell Brand
Remember that time Katy Perry and Russell Brand got married, but then they got divorced shortly after because Brand couldn’t stop cheating? Well, during the divorce, Russell decided to be (somewhat of) a standup guy, and not take any of this wife’s money. The couple didn’t have a pre-nup, so technically, Perry was supposed to give Brand $20 million, but he refused it. Of course, Brand may have done this because of his ego, but it’s his loss and Perry’s gain. Even if she would have given him the $20 million, Katy would have made some of that money back by now with the series of breakup/healing songs she wrote about their relationship.
1 Katie Holmes
Apparently, Katie Holmes was so glad to be ending her marriage to Tom Cruise that she didn’t even take any of his money in the divorce. A prenuptial agreement had already been put in place before the marriage, and Holmes didn’t contest it at all. Perhaps she should have listened to Nicole Kidman, who was also once married to Tom, and said that Cruise put her through “hell”. There have long been reports that Cruise’s devotion to Scientology made him a terrible husband, and with three divorces under his belt, he’s not exactly proving the “sources” wrong. While Katie didn’t seek to get any alimony for herself, she does get a pretty penny in child support from Cruise for their daughter Suri, and that’s good enough for her.