“Until death do us part.”
That phrase has become ingrained in humans' minds. We hear it in real life when we go to weddings, and we hear it countless times in movies and television shows. But, if there is one thing that has changed over the past few decades, it’s the fact that this particular phrase doesn’t seem to mean that much anymore. We are not saying that we are against divorce, but this is a vow that is broken more often than those vows we hear Lords make in Game of Thrones.
Let’s talk statistics for a moment. According to data from The Guardian, divorces in England and Wales have gone from a total of 30,870 in 1952 to a whopping 118,140 in 2012, a trend that is followed by most of the nations in the world. It’s also not that surprising, given the celebrity culture that we have today.
Something that might affect this new data for divorces is that celebrities do it all the time. Whether we like it or not, people tend to follow the trends set by celebrities. Someone could be the worst role model in the world, but if he/she has 1 million Instagram followers, you can bet that at least a small percentage of those fans will try to mimic everything the said celeb does. But, there is even one scarier aspect to marriage and divorce these days. And that is the ridiculously huge number we come across when researching celebrity divorce settlements. So, be ready to feel glad that you’re single, because here are 15 people whose pockets really regret ever getting married.
15 Johnny Depp And Amber Heard — $7 million
If we are talking about celebrity examples and expensive divorce settlements, there is no better place to start than the flash marriage between Pirates of the Caribbean star, Johnny Depp, and American actress, Amber Heard. Apparently, the two met in 2011 while filming the movie The Rum Diary, and it didn’t take long for them to start living together and eventually getting married in February of 2015.
The honeymoon period ended rather quickly for this couple, as just a year later, in May 2016, Heard filed for divorce. The quick divorce was already bad enough, but the most disturbing fact out of this story was that, apparently, Amber filed for divorce just two days after Johnny Depp’s mother passed away. Then, the skeletons started coming out of the closet as she filed for a restraining order against the actor and claimed that he was physically and verbally abusive. The circus continued until they agreed that Johnny would pay her a $7 million divorce settlement.
14 Madonna And Guy Ritchie — £50 million
Madonna has been everywhere and has done it all. This superstar singer has been a celebrity for as long as we can remember, and she could put on a show better than anyone in the business. It is no surprise that Madonna has had several love interests and a couple of marriages. Her first marriage to Sean Penn lasted for four years, but what we would like to talk about is her marriage to Guy Ritchie. In her second stint as a married woman, Madonna stayed with Richie until they parted ways in 2008, eight years after they got married.
The divorce between the two was a rather amicable one, as they even reached a quick compromise in terms of the custody of their two kids, Rocco and David. Nevertheless, when it comes to the money, Madonna got quite a hit. Perhaps it wasn’t much for her, but try to imagine having to pay your former paramour a figure between £50 million and £60 million as a divorce settlement.
13 Harold And Sue Ann Hamm — $975 million
How does that saying go? There is rich, and then there is oil-rich. In that analogy, Oklahoma entrepreneur Harold Hamm, is very much oil-rich. Even in the world of oil billionaires, Hamm is a big shot. Back in 2014, Forbes ran an article with the title “Harold Hamm: The Billionaire Oilman Fueling America's Recovery.”
But even if he was “saving America,” Hamm also had to deal with the headline factory that was his divorce from his second wife, Sue Ann. The two were married from 1988 until Sue Ann filed for divorce in 2012. The couple has two daughters. But, as far as the divorce is concerned, Hamm was facing the dire prospect of having to give up half of his estimated $20 billion fortune. That, ladies and gentlemen, must have given him some sleepless nights.
In the end, however, the case was deemed done when it was reported that Sue Ann had finally deposited a $975 million settlement check.
12 Michael Jordan And Juanita Vanoy — $168 million
They might’ve beaten his record by now, but when Michael Jordan first got divorced from Juanita Vanoy, the divorce settlement they agreed on was supposedly the largest celebrity divorce deal to date. Jordan was always one step ahead of his competition. Unfortunately for him, however, this was the one time he ended up not breaking a record on the court, but rather in the courtroom.
Michael and Juanita got married in September of 1989 and had three children. A curious aspect here is that the two of them filed for divorce in 2002, but somehow found a way to reconcile before the deal was completed. The reconciliation didn’t last long, and the two of them ultimately got divorced in December of 2006. Luckily for Juanita, the two of them had not signed a prenuptial agreement, so it is not wrong to claim that she was the “winner” in the divorce. The former Mrs. Jordan was paid a reported $168 million.
11 Greg Norman And Laura Andrassy — $115 million
Greg Norman is arguably one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game. Born in Queensland, Australia, The Great White Shark, as Norman was known, took the world by storm when he started gobbling up tournament victories like real sharks devour schools of fish. Norman was at the top of the world golf rankings for 331 weeks during his career. This man has won over 90 international tournaments, including the 1986 and 1993 Open Championships. He also finished in second place three times in the Masters Tournament, twice in the US Open, and twice in the PGA Championship.
Needless to say, Norman made a fortune out of his golfing career but didn’t stop there, as he became an entrepreneur and kept making money. So, when his wife of 26 years called it quits on their marriage, it was not surprising that the divorce settlement he had to pay to Laura Andrassy reached the astounding figure of $115 million.
10 Kevin Costner And Cindy Silva — $80 million
Few actors have had the opportunity to play legendary characters like Kevin Costner did when he dressed up to play Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. But more than just an actor, Costner has always been a gifted director. To illustrate that success, we need to look no further than his award-winning movie, Dances with Wolves.
And even with all that talent, there was still something else that made Costner different from the bunch in Hollywood. Unlike many other stars who marry fellow actresses or other celebrities, in 1975, Costner married his college sweetheart, Cindy Silva. Not too long after their marriage, they already had three children and were a happy family.
However, the happy marriage came to an end 16 years later. According to some sources who were close to the couple, the divorce negotiations lasted for months. But ultimately, they reached a settlement in which Cindy received somewhere around $80 million. They also agreed to share the custody of their kids.
9 Steven Spielberg And Amy Irving — $100 million
The relationship between Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving is an interesting one; starting with how the two of them met back in 1976, not at a party, not at random, but because Spielberg was looking for an actress for one of his movies. One of the actresses who ran for the role was none other than Amy Irving. Although she did not get to star in the movie, Irving won Spielberg’s affection, and the two of them eventually began dating. That lasted for about four years until their hectic careers drove them apart. However, the split did not last long either as they eventually got married in 1985.
They divorced four years later, but the interesting fact about the whole ordeal is that before they got married, apparently, they had signed a prenuptial agreement on a napkin. When this came up to the judge who was taking care of their divorce, he decided that the napkin was not acceptable as evidence and ended up awarding Irving a $100-million divorce settlement.
8 Bernie And Slavica Ecclestone — $1 billion
Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone started his relationship with Slavica Radic on the wrong foot. Eccleston was still in the middle of a 17-year-long relationship with another woman when Slavica became pregnant with their first daughter. The scandal was epic, as Ecclestone had always been in the public eye because of his involvement with Formula One.
Nevertheless, the billionaire did not shy away from the responsibility, ending his 17-year-long relationship and marrying Slavica. Their marriage was nothing short of amusing; starting with the fact that Ecclestone was a 5’0” tall businessman, while his new wife towered over him as the model was 6’2” tall.
But, despite the height discrepancy, they stayed together for 23 years. And when the time for the divorce came, it was a rather friendly one when comparing to others on this list. But, why would Slavica fight anyway when the settlement she received was somewhere around $1 billion to $1.5 billion?
7 Roman Abramovich And Irina Malandina — $300 million
If you are not a fan of football (soccer), there is a good chance that you don’t know who Roman Abramovich is. So, let us give you some background information.
Abramovich is a Russian billionaire who became famous after he bought the British soccer club, Chelsea FC. Abramovich also became notorious for being one of the most hands-on owners in soccer. But owning one of the richest clubs in the world is just the tip of the iceberg for this Russian tycoon.
His net worth is estimated to be around $9.1 billion. So, when he divorced his second wife, Irina Malandina, in 2007, many expected that Abramovich would suffer a devastating hit to his fortune.
And here is where the genius of this Russian entrepreneur comes in.
Instead of going through the divorce process in England, where they lived, Abramovich took the process to the courts in Russia. To make a long story short, while the British press suggested that he would have to pay somewhere around $5.5 billion, Abramovich and his wife settled for a “mere” $300 million.
6 James Cameron And Linda Hamilton — $50 million
Since we have already mentioned Steven Spielberg on this list, it is only fair that we give James Cameron his share of the article. Perhaps two of the greatest directors of all time, another thing these two lads have in common is the fact that both of them had to pay a pair of the highest divorce settlements of all time.
When the curtains closed on his marriage, Cameron only had to pay half of what Spielberg did, but that makes sense since he was only married to Linda Hamilton for half of the time that Spielberg was married to Amy Irving.
But unlike the divorce between Spielberg and Irving, the divorce between Cameron and Hamilton was a much more scandalous affair. After all, it happened because of an affair. The two got married in 1997, but not too long after that, Hamilton found out that Cameron was cheating on her with Susie Amos, who played Lizzy Calvert in Titanic.
5 The Jolie-Pitt Divorce — $??
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were the definition of a Hollywood power couple. They were two of the biggest movie stars in history and two of the best-looking movie stars as well. So when the two got married, the whole world of people who follow celebrities was buzzing with excitement about the new union.
By the time the two became romantically engaged, they were already experienced in terms of divorces. Jolie was married to fellow actor Billy Bob Thornton for less than three years. Brad Pitt, on the other hand, was supposedly still married to Jennifer Aniston when he caught the eye of the Tomb Raider star. Pitt divorced Aniston and soon began a 12-year relationship with Jolie.
The numbers on their divorce have not been released, but considering that the combined net worth of these two stars is somewhere around the $400 million mark, just the thought of what this divorce could cost them is ridiculous.
4 Mel Gibson And Robyn Moore Gibson — $425 million
Mel Gibson is a showman. From mental breakdowns to movies, all the way to his divorce, this guy is someone who specialized in making people’s jaws drop. For the most part, Gibson never really seems to be on the winning side whenever he does something controversial or is part of a scandal. His divorce from Robyn Moore Gibson was no exception to the rule.
The couple met soon after the filming of Mad Max and quickly got married in June of 1980. The two of them lived together for almost 30 years and had seven children. Robyn was the one who filed for divorce in 2009.
Unsurprisingly, as they were married right at the beginning of Gibson’s career, he made a mistake a lot of the guys on this list repeated, as they did not sign a prenuptial agreement. You know how the drill goes. Robyn got about half of what Gibson earned while they were together, and that figure got up to somewhere around $425 million.
3 Harrison Ford And Melissa Mathison — $118 million
Few couples were ever as talented in their field as these two. Harrison Ford does not need an introduction, we all know him as Indiana Jones or Han Solo. What you might not remember is that for nearly 20 years, he was married to one of the most talented screenwriters in the business. Melissa Mathison was responsible for writing one of the biggest classics in the history of cinema. She was the screenwriter for ET the Extra-Terrestrial. The couple had two children before splitting up in 2004.
In terms of money, their divorce had one of the most expensive settlements on this list. The key factor here is that the couple apparently did not sign a prenuptial agreement, so every penny Harrison Ford made while the two of them were married was game for the lawyers. By the end of it, Melissa received something between $85 million and $118 million.
2 Rupert Murdoch And Anna Maria Torv — $1.2 billion
Rupert Murdoch has been one of the richest people on the planet for a long time. From there, it is only fair to imagine that any divorce this media tycoon gets involved in, will end up having a record-breaking settlement. Sure, when he married his second wife, Anna Maria Torv, in 1967, Murdoch must have thought that the love between the two of them would last for life, even though Anna was a Scottish-born journalist who worked for one of Murdoch’s newspapers in Australia.
Their marriage did last for a very long time as they only began their divorce process in 1998. So, how much do you think the wife of one of the world’s richest tycoons received in their divorce settlement?
If your guess was somewhere around the $1.2 billion mark, you nailed it. That is one ex-wife who will never go hungry.
1 Alec And Jocelyn Wildenstein — $2.5 billion
There were some ridiculous divorces on this list, but this one is just out of this world. When a New York socialite by the name of Jocelyn Perisset married the French billionaire Alec Wildenstein, she knew she had hit the jackpot. Arguably, no one in 1978 was as happy as this woman who, in a blink of an eye, went from being a socialite to pretty much becoming world royalty.
The two of them were married from 1978 all the way to 1999, and their divorce was as bloody a battle as it can get. From the judge receiving death threats to Wildenstein getting caught cheating and threatening his wife with a gun, this was a circus.
Nevertheless, even the most entertaining of shows have to end, and it was one hell of an end for good old Jocelyn. The former Mrs. Wildenstein received a settlement of nothing less than $2.5 billion. And if that was not enough, she also received an extra $100 million every year for 13 years after the divorce.
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