While everyone’s dewy eyed and in love, everything is wonderful but the high pressures which celebrities are under today can reveal the cracks in relationship extremely quickly, recriminations and ultimately divorce usually follow shortly after.
Even with the high-profile prenuptial agreements there are still celebrity divorces which are settled with eye watering amounts.
So if you are now or expect to be rather wealthy one day and it might well be worth your while to get prenuptial agreement before you get married as can be seen from the results of the some of the most expensive celebrity divorces.
Ronnie and Jo Wood celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement £6.6 million ($9.9M)
No one could quite believe the news when Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood announced he was leaving his wife Jo of 23 years for a 19-year-old Russian waitress Ekaterina Ivanova. And probably the most shocked of all was Jo herself who said she never thought it would happen to her. Ronnie might well have been in one of the most successful rock bands in the world but he also spent a lot of that money too. Joe had been expected to get about £12 million but in the end she got £6.6 million.
She said afterwards she had no hard feelings for Ronnie and went on to say that she had spent so much time concentrating on looking after him, dressing him etc, that she now had time to concentrate on myself.
Donald and Ivana Trump celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $25 million (£16M)
This is where a watertight prenuptial agreement really is worth its weight in gold, platinum and diamonds. Ivana Trump famously said “Don’t get mad, get everything” but in this case she only got $25 million of Donald Trump’s $1.7 billion fortune in 1992. She also got the couple’s $3.7 million, 45 room Connecticut mansion.
After the divorce she was determined to out do her ex-husband at every point. Starting with $1 million contract in which she chronicles her life from the Czech skier turned model who went on to marry the American property billionaire. She even wrote a book on divorcees, launched Ivana Haute Couture, an online business selling jewellery, make-up and fragrances. And of course she also massed an extensive property portfolio just to show Donald Trump that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Michael and Diandra Douglas celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement $45 million ($30M)
Michael Douglas met Diandra at a party in 1977. She was a 19-year-old student and he was a 32-year-old actor and son of the very famous Kirk Douglas. Within weeks they were married, this lasted for 18 years but after several break-ups and reconciliations they finally split in 1995. Michael had to wait five years until 2000 before the divorce was finally settled and you could then move onto his new love Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The settlement which was estimated at $45 million also included residual incomes merchandising and ancillary rights to all of the movies he did during the time they were married.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement £24.3 million ($36M)
As Paul himself says in one of the Beatle creations, “Money can’t buy you love” but the Heather Mills a bit of love can certainly get you money. It certainly cost him dear after the four-year-old marriage failed in 2006.
The couple later admitted that they did not sign a prenuptial agreement until the marriage was “unromantic”.
Heather received a lump sum of £24.3 million plus £35,000 a year for the cost of a nanny and schooling for their daughter Beatrice.
James Cameron and Linda Hamilton celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $50 million (£33M)
It seems as though James Cameron was more in love with his work then with his wife Linda Hamilton. And it’s his wallet which suffered the most with a titanic sized hole being ripped in it after he paid out $50 million for the two year marriage in 1997.
At that rate it was certainly Linda’s best paying performance, equivalent to $25 million a year, much better than the pay cheque she got for the first two Terminator films in which she played Sarah Connor.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement £50-£60 million. ($75M – $90M)
Most people expect of a wife to be the major beneficiary from a split between but in Madonna’s case it was Guy Ritchie who came out the winner. The material girl gave away some of that material wealth with her split from Guy Ritchie. Although the exact figures were never revealed and soon after the above figures were leaked out, Madonna and Guy said that those figures were inaccurate.
Guy said that he enjoyed his first marriage and that it was something he will definitely never forget. “I stepped into a soap opera and lived it for quite a long period of my life” Guy added.
Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $80 million (£53M)
1994 was not a good year for Kevin Costner. His 16 year marriage to Cindy Silva came to an end just before his blockbuster film Waterworld sank beneath the waves. The couple have been regarded as one of the most stable and enduring in Hollywood and obviously all was not as it seemed. Cindy was awarded $80 million and half of the restaurant business she co-owned with Kevin. After the divorce Kevin found love again and married model Christine Baumgartner in 2004. He said “I believe in love and also in marriage, but I won’t get divorced again”
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement $90 million ($60M)
Indiana Jones normally escapes a sticky end when he’s in the films but in real life the Indiana Jones star in paying handsomely when he divorced his wife Melissa after 18 years.
The total deal was worth approximately $90 million to Melissa and included a $14 million cash payout spread over two years, several properties and royalties all the films he made during the time of their marriage.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement $85 million (£53M)
Nicole Kidman joked after the split with Tom Cruise in 2001 that she could start wearing high heels once again. That was not the only thing she could raise, her bank balance also saw new heights after Tom agreed to pay an estimated $85 million to Nicole. The divorce settlement was agreed after a three-hour discussion and the couple were photographed hugging afterwards. Both Tom and Nicole said they were going to maintain good relations for the sake of their two children Isabella and Connor.
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $100 million ($66M)
Although the divorce of Stephen Spielberg and Amy Irving took place in 1989, it’s still one of the biggest and if you factor in inflation, in today’s prices it would now be nearly $140 million. Both Spielberg and Irving had signed a prenuptial agreement in 1985 but after the big hits of Jaws and E.T. she managed to get it nullified because it had been written on a napkin and without legal representation. That just goes to show that you still need a lawyer and a proper piece of paper to make an agreement work in court. Spielberg said afterwards that he wanted to make sure he kept on good terms with his ex-wife of the sake of his son Max Samuel, having experienced the trauma of his own parents divorce.
Neil and Marcia Diamond celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $190 million ($126M)
In the case of Neil Diamond, it really was a case of “Love on the rocks” after his 25 year marriage to Marcia ended. It also cost him an estimated $190 million, and it’s still one of the largest divorce settlement ever. Neil Diamond who is one of the worlds highest grossing singer-songwriter’s also gave over the couple’s expensive homes, one in Beverly Hills and the other in Aspen Colorado as well as cash, jewellery and stocks. Afterwards he said he was happy to do it, “She was the mother of my youngest children and she’s been with me through thick and thin, she deserves half my fortune”.
Mel and Robyn Gibson celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $425 million (£283M)
Mad Max star Mel Gibson must have felt like tearing around the shooting up the place after having to hand over $425 million for the divorce settlement with his wife Robyn in 2009, that represented half of his estimated $850 million fortune. Not only did she get the lump sum but she will also get 50% of the pension benefits that the Braveheart star built up during the 31 year marriage. The settlement came just weeks before his Russian girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva gave birth to his eighth child. Gibson has had a long and very successful career in the film business and grossed more than $375 million from his film The Passion of the Christ alone.
The payout of $425 million is the biggest in Hollywood history, beating the previous record set by Stephen Spielberg and Amy Irving. Although not the largest payout ever, it still comes in at third largest behind Rupert Murdoch and Bernie Ecclestone.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement $750 million (£500M)
Elin certainly hit a hole in one with the huge divorce settlement from Tiger Woods. The all-American family man image disintegrated after it had been alleged he’d had affairs with up to 19 women !. But when Tiger Woods crashed his car after a fight with Elin and fleeing the house, she was found standing over him with golf club in hand and the cars broken back window the rumours came out. Although they tried to patch up the marriage and even renegotiated the prenuptial agreement they eventually called it a day, with the marriage being called “irretrievably broken” at the court hearing. Elin was awarded an estimated $750 million.
Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radic celebrity divorce
estimated settlement £750 million ($1.12Bn)
When Bernie Ecclestone’s marriage to Slavica ended after 24 years, she walked away as one of the richest women in Britain with £750 million of Bernie’s £2.2 billion F1 fortune. But even before then, most of the family’s fortune had been held in offshore accounts in Slavica name for tax purposes.
The split was down to the Formula One billionaire Bernie seeing a woman young enough to be his granddaughter, the 31-year-old Brazilian Fabiana Flosi when he was 75.
Bernie and Slavica stayed friends of the sake of their daughters Tamara and Petra. Although Slavica says she’s enjoyed her married years she didn’t enjoy her wedding and spent £12 million from the divorce settlement on Petra’s wedding because she says her own with such a disappointment.
Afterwards she said “I wanted to make sure my daughter’s wedding was everything it could be and also the best day of my life too”.
Rupert and Anna Murdoch celebrity divorce
Estimated settlement: $1.7 billion (£1.13Bn)
This is the biggest payout ever so far. The multi billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch divorced Anne, his second wife after 32 years in 1999. Although the sum was undisclosed it was believed to be as much as $1.7 billion, consisting of $110 million cash and $1.6 billion in News Corp shares. Not that it put him off marriage as he married his third wife Wendi Deng just 17 days later.