If you thought divorces had a tendency to get out of hand in your circle of friends and family, just wait until you see the details of some of the most expensive celebrity breakups in history. From musicians and sports stars to actors and socialites, get a glimpse of 10 of the most legendary celebrity divorce settlements in history.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
If you followed the scandal unfolding as championship golfer Tiger Woods made headlines for cheating on his model wife Elin Nordegren a mind-boggling number of times, you may have wondered what their divorce settlement would look like. After all, the top-rated golfer’s antics produced such scintillating headlines that Nordegren experienced unimaginable humiliation for weeks on end. Though she may have been able to argue for much more, she walked away with a $110 million settlement and chose to move on with her life for the sake of her family’s well-being.
Michael Jordan and Juanita Jordan
Not all sports stars end their marriages on such a sour note. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan was married to Juanita Jordan for 17 years before divorcing in 2006. Juanita walked away with a divorce settlement rumored to be worth $168 million, but no fireworks erupted before, during, or after the court proceedings. In fact, the two ex-spouses demonstrated admirable co-parenting skills by attending their son’s basketball game together right after the proceedings ended.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
The former Beatle and the former model enjoyed four years of wedded bliss before divorcing in 2008, and their split was less than amicable. During the divorce proceedings, the two fought bitterly, with Heather Mills claiming that Paul McCartney had held back her career and McCartney claiming that Mills hadn’t represented herself accurately when the two originally married. Though Mills demanded a substantial payout, she received only a third of what she requested, or about $48 million.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
The superstar singer and her actor and producer husband were married for nearly a decade and also divorced in 2008. Their settlement nearly doubled the amount that McCartney and Mills agreed to, however. When In fact, when Madonna and Guy Ritchie split in 2008, they settled for one of the largest divorce agreements in history. Ritchie walked away with between $76 million and $92 million, though the settlement wasn’t all in cash. The filmmaker kept The Punchbowl, the couple’s London pub, as well as Ashcombe House, their home in the English countryside.
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison
Before Harrison Ford wedded Calista Flockhart, the “Star Wars” actor was married to screenwriter Melissa Mathison for over a decade. The two met on the “Apocalypse Now” set and dated for a few years before tying the knot. Since the couple hadn’t signed a prenuptial agreement beforehand, they fought over their divorce settlement for years before coming to an agreement. They ultimately settled for a rumored $100 million.
James Cameron and Linda Hamilton
Some couples have the foresight to get the divorce arrangements out of the way before even getting married. Movie director James Cameron and actress Linda Hamilton did just that when they married, and it proved to be a smart decision when they divorced just two years later. Cameron had agreed to pay a settlement of $25 million for each year the couple remained married. That means he ultimately paid Hamilton $50 million for their brief but tumultuous two-year marriage.
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving
Not all prenups turn out the way the two partners intend, especially if they aren’t officially executed. Director Steven Spielberg and actress Amy Irving had an on-again, off-again relationship before marrying in 1985. Less than four years later, however, the two divorced. Even though they had written an informal prenuptial agreement on a napkin, the judge threw it out and forced Spielberg to pay a $100 million settlement to his ex-wife. If you’re wondering how that compares to the deal your friend or family member got from her ex, a quick divorce records search will reveal all the nitty-gritty details.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Pop superstar Britney Spears and dancer Kevin Federline repeatedly made headlines for having a somewhat unusual relationship long before they split up. After all, Federline was working as a mere pizza deliveryman when he married the hardworking singer. During the marriage, Spears continued to foot the bill for their lifestyle, even reportedly paying for her own engagement ring. After a short marriage, Spears continued to support her ex-husband’s lifestyle. The two settled for $40,000 per month, likely a monumental sum for someone who once supported himself on a pizza deliveryman’s salary.
Mel Gibson and Robyn Gibson
Over the course of his multi-decade film career, Mel Gibson amassed quite a fortune. He and former wife Robyn Gibson also created a large family together, as they had seven children during their 31-year marriage. Upon learning that the actor had fathered a child with another woman in 2009, however, Robyn filed for divorce. She received half of Gibson’s $850 million net worth. Her total settlement of about $425 million is by far one of the largest in history, and she continued to come out ahead as Gibson made headlines for a battery charge and numerous unhinged rants.
Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch
Rupert and Anna Murdoch take the prize for the largest divorce settlement on the record. Like the Gibsons, the Murdochs were married for over three decades and amassed significant wealth as they enjoyed their married bliss. Anna walked away from the marriage with a rumored $1.7 billion in assets, of which $110 million was cash. Hopefully that settlement gave her what she needed to start a new life, as her ex-husband married another woman less than three weeks after the divorce was finalized.
Want to get the dirt on divorce settlements tied to family and friends or neighbors and public figures? Use the People Search tool from CheckThem to search public records and dig up divorce details and much more about friends and strangers alike.