Revealed: The Most Expensive Divorce Settlements
A happy and healthy marriage can be a dream come true. It’s when a union goes bad that nightmares happen. No one wants to go through a divorce, even if they are the person who ends up receiving a boatload of cash in the settlement. Trying to smooth things over just doesn’t work a lot of the time, and going to court ends up being the only way to settle things. Some people sign prenups, which leaves them covered in most cases. But others don’t, and that’s when it can really get ugly. Continue reading to find out what the most expensive divorces looked like for the rich and the famous people who split up.
Jeff Bezos And Mackenzie Bezos: $36 Billion
After becoming the richest man in the world, it only took one year for Jeff Bezos to announce his divorce with ex-wife Mackenzie. The two shared a life for 25 years, but things got messy involving illicit pictures allegedly sent to Jeff’s current partner, Lauren Sanchez.
In a statement Mackenzie posted to Twitter, she wrote that she was “grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached out to us in kindness.” The finalizing of the divorce in 2019 put around $36 billion in Mackenzie’s bank account.
Mel Gibson And Robyn Moore: $425 Million
You don’t end up at divorce overnight. It’s a list of things that pile up over time, eventually towering over into the face of the soon-to-be-divorcee. That’s what happened with Mel Gibson after Robyn Moore had enough in 2006.
The two were an item for 26 years, then Gibson received a DUI arrest, and all bets were off. They didn’t sign a prenup, so Moore ended up getting half of Gibson’s cash, which was around $425 million.
Demi Moore And Bruce Willis: $90 Million
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis had a very public marriage. Their relationship was the talk of the town, but as a result, so was their divorce. It was almost like everyone else knew everything before they did!
Willis was Moore’s second husband, and their marriage would last for 11 years. The two had three children together during that time, as well. In 2000, Willis made a public statement saying he had “failed as a father and husband.” Moore received $90 million in the settlement.
Bob Johnson And Sheila Crump Johnson: $400 Million
What a love it must be if you and your partner co-founded one of the most popular and successful TV networks. For Bob Johnson and Sheila Crump, that was a reality. The pair were a thing from 1969 to 2002, and during that time, they co-founded BET.
They went on to become the first African American billionaire couple in 2000 but ended up getting a divorce two years later. Crump walked away with $400 million, and in a twist of fate, she married the judge who managed the divorce!
Dmitry Rybolovlev And Elena Rybolovlev: $604 Million
Elena Rybolovleva had a great reason to file for divorce from her billionaire Russian businessman husband, Dmitry Rybolovlev. They were together for 26 years, but at a certain point, it became too much for Elana.
She cited his “serial infidelity,” saying he used to “share his young conquests with his friends, and other oligarchs.” The courts originally gave her $4.5 billion in the settlement, but after a crucial appeal, she “only” walked away with $604 million.
Alec Wildenstein And Jocelyn Wildenstein: $3.8 Billion
Before the Bezos divorce, the costliest split occurred in 1999. It happened when the French-American businessman and art dealer Alec Wildenstein put an end to his marriage with socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein.
They were together for 21 years, which only helped Jocelyn secure a massive amount of money. The results were Jocelyn receiving $2.5 billion and $100 million over the next 13 years. That reached a total of $3.8 billion, an unheard-of amount of money at the time.
Michael Jordan And Juanita Jordan: $168 Million
Michael Jordan’s rise to become the greatest NBA player of all time didn’t come without obstacles. Yes, he had his battles on the court, but it was off the hardwood where he faced a tough challenge with his then-wife, Juanita Jordan.
The pair tried for years to keep their marriage alive, but they eventually agreed on divorce in 2006. Not only did Juanita receive custody of their three kids and the seven-acre Chicago estate, but she also got $168 million.
Adnan Khashoggi And Soraya Khashoggi: $974 Million
Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi married a 20-year-old British woman named Sandra Daly in 1961. She would convert to Islam and change her name to Soraya for him. If anything, she was devoted.
At the pinnacle of their wealth, Time reports that they owned three planes, 17 homes, and three yachts. After 13 years of marriage, their settlement was a then-record $874 million. That would be the same as $2 billion in today’s climate. We wonder if she kept the religion too.
Amy Irving And Steven Spielberg: $100 Million
Legendary film director Steven Spielberg got married to actress Amy Irving in 1985. This came after initially meeting in 1976 and dating for a while. Spielberg told his co-producer, “I met a real heartbreaker last night,” after their first encounter.
After three and a half years of marriage, the stresses of their professional careers took over. The couple divorced in 1989 but agreed to maintain homes close to each other to help with shared custody. In the end, the settlement was around $100 million.
Rupert Murdoch And Anna Torv: $1.7 Billion
For 31 years, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and journalist Maria Torv experienced a great life together. During that time, they had three children together, as well. Then, when it came time to plan for Murdoch’s retirement, their views were different.
As a result, the two agreed to an amicable separation in 1998. While there aren’t many details about the divorce, rumors say that Torv received somewhere around $1.7 billion. Both moved on quickly after it went down, with Murdoch finding another wife in 17 days and Torv marrying again in six months.
Steve Wynn And Elaine Wynn: $1 Billion
Have you had the pleasure of staying at a Wynn resort? If not, you should do yourself a favor and try it one time. For those who know about the resort, you have Elaine Wynn to thank for co-founding the lavish location.
Elaine and Steve married each other twice. First, from 1963 to 1986, then from 1991 to 2010. Their second divorce is the one that cost a lot. Many details weren’t public knowledge, but the settlement is estimated at $1 billion.
Craig McCaw And Wendy Petrak: $12 Billion
Craig McCaw founded McCaw Cellular and successfully sold it to AT&T for more than $12 billion! He married California newspaper publisher Wendy Petrak, and the two remained married for 21 years.
In 1995, McCaw filed for a divorce. Petrak must have had a stellar divorce attorney because she walked away with $450 million. McCaw fell from the list of 400 wealthiest Americans, but his net worth still soars above one billion. We can’t feel too bad for the guy.
Amber Heard And Johnny Depp: $7 Million
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were a couple, but not for very long. After 15 months of marriage, Heard filed for a divorce in 2016. It had something to do with Depp’s abusive behavior, which led to a messy split.
The aftermath left Heard with $7 million, which she ended up donating to charity. Still, things weren’t that smooth afterward. Not only Heard accuse Depp of abuse, but the pirate had the same accusations towards her. They eventually signed an NDA.
Garth Brooks And Sandy Mahl: $125 million
The divorce between music stars Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl is one of the most expensive in country music history, with Mahl receiving a whopping $125 million from her ex-husband.
Mahl and Brooks were married for 15 years before going their separate ways, but not before a hefty legal battle that left Brooks minus million and joint custody of their three daughters. Brooks remarried in 2005 to Trisha Yearwood.
Guy Ritchie And Madonna: Between $76-92 Million
Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s marriage lasted for seven years. Their downfall was an intense one that didn’t end well for Madonna and her bank account.
The differences they had resulted in a Ritchie earning somewhere between $76 and $92 million in 2008. Still, the drama wasn’t over after they called it quits (sadly). As of 2019, the pair got involved in a bitter custody showdown over their son, Rocco. Hopefully, they figure out everything soon.
Paul McCartney And Heather Mills: $50 Million
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills had a joyous wedding in Ireland, which cost $3.2 million. The amount of money he would have to fork over if things ended probably wasn’t running through his mind when they tied the knot.
Unfortunately, things went very wrong, and the two got a divorce. The former Beatle had to give her nearly $50 million as a result. McCartney later called his relationship with Mills his biggest regret of the decade. Ouch.
Melissa Mathison And Harrison Ford: $85 Million
Here’s another high-profile celebrity divorce for the list. Melissa Mathison and Harrison Ford were together for 21 years and had two children along the way. Still, all that time and child-raising couldn’t help their marriage.
The two divorced in 2004 and didn’t have a prenup in place. Mathison ended up walking away with $85 million, according to Forbes. No amount of intergalactic forces could have helped him with that case. Luckily, he still had some blockbuster films left him.
Bill and Melinda Gates: TBD
After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce announcement came as a surprise to many in May 2021. The high-profile couple married in 1994 and have three children together. Bill’s net worth hit $100 billion for the first time in 1999. In October 2017 and November 2019 he was the wealthiest man in the world.
As of May 2021, Bill Gates’s estimated net worth is at least $129.7 billion. While details of the divorce agreement have not been announced, there’s a lot at stake for the billionaire.
Eddie Murphy And Nicole Mitchell: $15 Million
Nicole Mitchell met comedian Eddie Murphy at the 1988 NAACP Image Awards show. Sparks flew, and the two got married a few years later in 1993. They exchanged vows at the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel in New York City.
They must have shared a ton of love with each other, or they wouldn’t have had five kids! Even with the children, the relationship ended in divorce in 2006. Murphy had covered his tracks and signed a prenup, which let Mitchell see $15 million in the settlement.
Tom Brady And Giselle Bündchen: Unknown
After 13 years of marriage, NFL superstar quarterback Tom Brady and high-fashion model Giselle Bündchen settled their divorce on October 28, 2022. With both of their net worths well over a million dollars, it is interesting to think about how much their divorce settlement is worth.
Sadly, the public will not be privy to the information, as both Brady and his former wife have decided not to disclose any financial information to the courts. Per People, “according to a state law, the details of their settlement agreement and custody details will not be publicly filed with the court to protect their privacy.”
Prince Charles And Princess Diana: $22.5 Million
At first, it looked like the matrimony between Prince Charles and Princess Diana was something from a real-life fairytale. They kept up good appearances for a while, but bouts of infidelity took over and were leaked.
Both of them were unfaithful throughout the marriage and would separate in 1992. Rumors floated around that they would try and patch things up, but after Diana gave that revealing Panorama interview, that seemed very unlikely. Princess Diana received about $22.5 million and another $600,000 for salary.
Reba McEntire And Narvel Blackstock: $47.5 Million
Reba McEntire, the Queen of Country, married her manager and former steel guitar player Narvel Blackstock in 1989. They formed a sensational duo and went on to create Starstruck Entertainment. The two also had one son together named Shelby.
Then, they shocked the world after announcing their divorce. Twenty-six years of bonding didn’t completely go out the window as they remained close friends and they still support each other. The exact number of the settlement is unknown, but it’s somewhere around $47.5 million.
Bernie Ecclestone And Slavica Radić: $1.2 Billion
Bernie Ecclestone is a Formula One executive and also one of the wealthiest men on Earth, let alone the United Kingdom. He married Croatian model Slavica Radić in 1985, and the relationship would last for quite some time.
The couple ended up getting a divorce in 2009, with the settlement being around $1.2 billion. All the details aren’t public, but in an unusual turn of events, Radić looks to be the one paying Ecclestone, not the other way around. Wow.