It’s very rare that a Hollywood couple will make it to their ten-year wedding anniversary, let alone ’til death do us part. Indeed, with a divorce rate as high as 60 percent in California, Tinseltown isn’t the best place to go if you’re looking for happy ever after. A huge settlement can go a long way to mending a broken heart, though: just ask these celebrity spouses, who each received hefty million-dollar payouts from their separations.
20. Kelsey and Camille Grammer – $30 million
Frasier fans may remember that the show’s titular character wasn’t particularly lucky in love – and, unfortunately, the same goes for the actor who played him. In particular, Kelsey Grammer’s third marriage to Camille Grammer proved to be a very costly mistake. The pair divorced in 2010 after 13 years together, seeing former Playboy model Camille walking off with $30 million, as well as a stake in their three houses.
19. Ted Danson and Casey Coates – $30 million
Like his former Cheers co-star Kelsey Grammer, Ted Danson also ended up in a messy separation that cost him $30 million, after wife of 16 years Casey Coates filed for a divorce and claimed custody of their two kids. Perhaps Coates was just getting even: after all, it was eventually reported that Danson had been having an affair with his Made in America co-star Whoopi Goldberg.
18. Michael and Diandra Douglas – $45 million
Michael Douglas is now happily married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, but before wedding the Welsh beauty he had a 23-year union with Diandra Douglas. His former wife received a $45 million payout from the 2000 split – and even later sued the star over a share of his royalties from 2011’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Fortunately for Douglas, her case was dismissed.
17. Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey – $47 million
Phil Collins’ hit single “In the Air Tonight” may have been inspired by his first divorce, but Phil Collins’ split with third wife Orianne Cevey yielded less fruitful results. Indeed, in addition to handing out over $47 million to his wife of six years, the singer had the dubious honor of being part of Britain’s most costly divorce settlement.
16. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills – $48 million
In one of the most bitter celebrity divorces of recent times, Paul McCartney split from his wife of four years Heather Mills in 2006 amid intense and damaging allegations. And although Mills’ descriptions of McCartney’s drug-fueled spousal abuse were contested in court, she still managed to walk away with $48 million of the Beatle’s $800 million estate.
15. Kenny Rogers and Marianne Gordon – $60 million
Kenny Rogers’ fans were left in shock after it was revealed that the country star had given his ex-wife Marianne Gordon $60 million in the wake of their 1993 divorce. However, the “Islands in the Stream” singer reportedly bears no grudge towards his former spouse of 16 years. In fact, in an interview with The Independent many years later he even admitted that his ex “deserves every penny.”
14. Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva – $80 million
Kevin Costner met and married his first wife Cindy Silva before he became an internationally recognizable actor, but unfortunately the pressures of fame proved too much for their relationship. Subsequently, the two split in 1994 after 16 years of marriage, and Costner’s now considerable movie star bank balance helped Silva reach a settlement of $80 million.
13. Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison – $85 million
Prior to his marriage to Calista Flockhart in 2010, Harrison Ford was wed to screenwriter Melissa Mathison: a 17-year union that would eat up much of the actor’s Indiana Jones royalties. Because not only did Mathison gain a $85 million settlement from their 2004 divorce, but she also earned a share of earnings from Ford’s films during their marriage.
12. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren – $100 million
Philandering can have a tumultuous effect on anyone’s relationship, but in 2010 Tiger Woods’ multiple infidelities during his five-year marriage cost him more than just a wife. Following news of Woods’ affairs with various women, Elin Nordegren – his spouse of five years – filed for divorce and received a colossal $100 million, although it was only a sixth of the golfer’s estate.
11. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving – $100 million
Anyone looking for legal advice on tying the knot probably shouldn’t ask Steven Spielberg: a simple mistake cost him a $100 million settlement to ex-wife Amy Irving in 1989. That’s because before their 1985 marriage, the E.T. director had Irving sign a prenuptial agreement written on a paper napkin. And, understandably, the document didn’t hold much weight in court.
10. Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy – $115 million
During the course of their 26-year marriage, golf star Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy seemed like an unshakeable couple. But it all ended in disaster in 2006 – for Norman, at least, as when the two separated Andrassy walked away with a $115 million settlement. Plus in the years that followed, Norman’s fortunes faded even further when his marriage to Chris Evert ended after only 15 months.
9. Garth and Sandy Brooks – $125 million
Garth Brooks may be one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, but some of his greatest hits were actually co-written with his first wife Sandy. And so, naturally, she was entitled to a large payout when their 15-year marriage ended in 2001 – Brooks amply provided her with it, then, in the form of a $125 million check.
8. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey – $150 million
Following a costly 1994 divorce from his wife of 25 years Marcia Murphey, Neil Diamond handed out a whopping settlement that included $150 million and two houses. Furthermore, the singer was all too happy to do it. He told The Sun, “She’s the mother of my youngest children. She’s been with me through thick and thin. She deserves half my fortune.”
7. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy – $168 million
With a net worth of over $1.1 billion dollars, Michael Jordan could have afforded to grant ex-wife Juanita Vanoy a very large settlement after their 2006 separation. However – despite signing a post-nup that entitled her to half of the NBA star’s assets – Vanoy only took $168 million and their Chicago villa as a token of their 17-year marriage.
6. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver – $200 million
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s turbulent break-up with Maria Schriver made headlines around the world in 2011, but the settlement that the two agreed upon often goes less remarked upon. The fact is, however, that under Californian law Schwarzenegger was obliged to hand over half his wealth to his former wife of 25 years – which amounted to around $200 million.
5. Roman and Irina Abramovich – $300 million
Big business can lead to some big divorce settlements, and Irina Abramovich – the ex-wife of Russian oil and soccer magnate Roman – found herself in the money following a 2006 file for separation. And although she was rumored to have received upwards of $5 billion, Irina actually received the far lower – but still pretty impressive – sum of $300 million from her hubbie of 15 years.
4. Mel and Robyn Moore Gibson – $425 million
In perhaps the biggest divorce settlement in Hollywood history, actor Mel Gibson handed his ex Robyn Moore $425 million after their 31-year marriage collapsed in 2001. Because the two hadn’t signed a pre-nup, Gibson was required to grant Moore half of his $850 million fortune, as well as half of his profits from past and future films.
3. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch Mann – $1.7 billion
Rupert Murdoch is no stranger to bank busting divorce cases; the News Corp owner has paid out not one, but two extravagant separation settlements in his time. The first was in 1999 to his second wife Anna Murdoch Mann, who received a jaw-dropping $1.7 billion for her 32-year stint as the media tycoon’s wife.
2. Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng – $1.8 billion
Just 17 days after the ink had dried on his divorce to Mann, Murdoch had married STAR TV vice-president Wendi Deng. Less than a decade and a half later, though, and this marriage would also grind to a pricey halt. As a result, then, Murdoch forked out a further $1.8 billion, making him one of the biggest spending divorcees in history. Let’s just hope his current marriage to Jerry Hall goes a little better…
1. Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev – $4.5 billion
While the figures we’ve seen so far have been mind-blowing, they seem minuscule when compared to the jaw-dropping $4.5 billion Dmitry Rybolovlev reportedly paid out to his ex-wife Elena. Since the 2014 ruling, however, the Russian-born magnate has been trying to contest the settlement; as yet, then, the eventual, final settlement has yet to be disclosed.