Have you ever wondered which are the most expensive divorces in history? We have. See, in Hollywood films there’s usually a happy ending where the good guy saves the world, kisses the girl, and they go on to live happily ever after. However, in real life the marriages of many celebrities, business tycoons, and glamorous people aren’t as happy and ideal as in the movies (and usually, the consequences are not cheap…not at all). In case you’ve wondered how much some of these celebrities and public personas had to forfeit to escape an unsuccessful marriage here are 25 Most Expensive Divorces In History That’ll Almost Make You Feel Sorry For Rich People.
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison ($85 million)
In 2004 movie star Harrison Ford reportedly paid his ex-wife a whopping $85 million in a record-breaking divorce settlement for a Hollywood actor at the time, which would be surpassed only a couple of years later by Mel Gibson in his divorce.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie (About $75–$92 million)
In a very rare case where the woman has to pay off the husband, the Queen of Pop paid the most money a woman has ever paid a man (from what we know at least).
John and Beverly Charman ($95 million)
John and Beverly met at school in 1969. When they married in 1976 neither had significant resources. In November 2003, Mr. Charman, nicknamed “King of the London Insurance Market,” told his wife he was setting up residence in Bermuda and their marriage was over. He initially offered her $7 million in cash, but she argued the sum wasn’t enough. To make a long story short Beverly was finally satisfied only when she won about $95 million in cash and property.
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving ($100 million)
Amy Irving rose to fame in 1976 when she played the lone teen survivor in Carrie. Spielberg began to make a name for himself in Hollywood following Jaws. The pair married in 1985, but they broke up four years later. Spielberg gave Irving about $100 million.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren ($100 million)
Even though there were initial reports that Elin could score $750 million, that figure proved to be completely wrong and unrealistic. Nevertheless, Elin abandoned the marriage after Tiger repeatedly cheated on her, giving her $100 million as a result while Tiger has become a shadow of his former self as a golfer and icon.
Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy ($103 million)
Famed golfer and businessman Greg Norman’s divorce from former flight attendant Laura Andrassy cost him $103 million. Combined with the $7 million that Evert, his new wife, paid former Olympic skier and ex-husband Andy Mill in their 2006 divorce, the newlyweds paid a whopping $110 million to be legally wed.
Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl ($125 million)
Garth Brooks met Sandy Mahl while he was still a struggling musician working as a bouncer. The couple were married for thirteen years, during which time Garth’s career and wallet exploded. In the end, Garth cut a $125 million check to his ex-wife.
Frank and Jamie McCourt ($130 million)
Jamie and Frank McCourt moved to LA in 2004 to live their dream as owners of the illustrious Dodgers. Then went on a massive spending spree: $74 million on four homes, a $12 million pool, and a $10,000-a-month hairstylist. Though their team hit an initial winning streak, their marriage struck out. Their divorce produced a slew of unsavory financial details and Jamie walked away with an estimated $130 million.
Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey ($150 million)
When the famous singer met Marcia Murphey he was married to his first wife. In 1994, however, they separated; Marcia claimed it was over irreconcilable differences. Diamond willingly gave her the money she asked for and moved on to new adventures in his love life.
Samathur Li Kin-kan and Florence Tsang-Chiu-wing ($157 million)
Samathur Li Kin-kan is a real estate tycoon and one of Hong Kong’s most famous and powerful billionaires. He became even more famous when he divorced his wife because she refused to get an abortion. The settlement was and remains the largest in Asian history.
Boris Berezovsky and Galina Besharova ($160 million)
Boris Berezovsky began his career as a teacher earning only $70 a month in the former Soviet Union, but later became one of Russia’s most powerful and richest businessmen. He married Galina Besharova in 1991, but the couple divorced in 2010 with Galina becoming about $160 million richer.
Michael and Juanita Jordan ($168 million)
We’re all used to seeing Michael Jordan win on the basketball courts but that wasn’t the case with his wife of seventeen years even though their decision to split was mutual. Juanita received $168 million in the settlement, along with custody of their three children and their seven-acre Chicago mansion.
Michael and Maya Polsky ($184 million)
When Michael and Maya Polsky moved to the US in 1976 they may have had only $500 in their pockets but their hearts were filled with love and hope. After thirty-one years of marriage, Maya divorced Michael, the founder of Invenergy LLC, and left the courts with an incredible $184 million.
Charles Fipke and Marlene Fipke ($200 million)
Charles Fipke might be the first man to have ever discovered diamonds in Canada’s Northwest Territories, but his ex-wife, Marlene Fipke, wasn’t all that impressed with him. After she filed for divorce Marlene received about 20 percent of Charles’s company, $123 million in cash, and a few other things that totaled about $200 million.
Roman and Irina Abramovich ($300 million)
Irina Malandina filed for divorce from Russian business tycoon Roman Abramovich under the not-so-absurd speculation that he was having an affair. Malandina went after half Abramovich’s fortune, give or take about $6 billion, but she left the courts with about $300 million.
Robert Johnson and Sheila Crump ($400 million)
Τhe cofounders of BET were married from 1969 to 2002. Robert became the first African American billionaire, so when the couple divorced, Sheila received about $400 million.
Mel and Robyn Moore Gibson ($425 million)
When Robyn Moore married an unknown and poor Mel Gibson back in 1980 she never imagined she would divorce him twenty-six years later and take half his fortune, becoming about half a billion dollars richer. Their divorce settlement remains the largest in Hollywood history.
Craig and Wendy McCaw ($460 million)
The pair met at Stanford University when she tutored him and married in 1974. Twenty-one years later divorce proceedings were initiated with Wendy wanting her share to support a $200,000-a-month lifestyle.
Steve Wynn and Elaine Pascal ($740 million)
Steve Wynn, chief executive of Wynn Resorts, married Elaine Pascal in 1963. They divorced in 1986 but remarried in 1991, ultimately leading to a second divorce in 2010. Elaine received eleven million shares of the Wynn stock when they divorced, totaling $740 million.
Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi ($874 million)
Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi made his money as an international arms dealer for the Saudi royal family. He then launched his company Triad, based in Switzerland, owning banks, hotels, and real estate across the world. He married Soraya in 1961. Their 1982 divorce resulted in an estimated $874 million settlement.
Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Ecclestone ($1–1.2 billion)
After twenty-three years of marriage and two kids the couple divorced in 2009 costing the famous British business magnate and chief executive of the Formula One Group an estimated $1–$1.2 billion.
Rupert Murdoch and Anna Maria Torv ($1.7 billion)
After a thirty-two-year marriage and three children, Murdoch and Torv decided to call it quits back in 1998. Their divorce was finalized in 1999, leaving Torv with over $1.5 billion including $110 million in cash.
Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng ($1.8 billion)
Murdoch married Deng only seventeen days after his second divorce was finalized. Fourteen years later, he was ready to repeat the process. Murdoch, eighty-two, and Deng, forty-four, are divorcing due to “irreconcilable differences.”
Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein ($2.5 billion)
Even if you’ve never heard of him or that their divorce is currently the second most expensive in history, you have probably seen or heard about Jocelyn, the obsessively vain woman who had multiple plastic surgeries to look like a cat or tiger or something along those lines. During the couple’s divorce in 1997, the New York socialite received an immediate $2.5 billion settlement from her husband and $100 million each year for the next thirteen years.
Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva ($4.5 billion)
Dmitry, a Russian oligarch known as the “fertilizer king,” who also owns European soccer club AS Monaco, was ordered by a Swiss judge earlier last year to pay his former wife a record-breaking amount that shocked the world. Elena had sought $6 billion out of the $12.8 billion fortune her husband had amassed. According to the Associated Press she ended up with “only” $4.5 billion.