Celebrity

19 Celebrity Divorces That Broke The Bank

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We all love to watch celebrities fall in love, reading every detail we can find about their romances, marriages, and lasting relationships.

But we also have a morbid fascination with their breakups and divorces. Especially when big money is involved.

These stars loved, lost, and paid out big time to their ex-wives (and one ex-husband).

Try to imagine if your marriage was worth millions or even billions. Would the money keep you together, or tear you apart?

19. Donald Trump and Ivana Trump - $25 million

Donald Trump Ivana
Michael Vadon / Christopherpeterson - Wikimedia

Before he became the Commander in Chief, President Trump was a New York developer with a reputation for swapping spouses.

His first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková, walked away with $25 million after Trump had an affair with another model, Marla Maples, who went on to become his second wife.

Ivana is the mother of Trump's three oldest children - Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka.

18. Ted Danson and Casey Coates - $30 million

Ted Danson
Danson with his third (and current) wife Mary Steenburgen.Angela George - Wikimedia

Cheers star Ted Danson had already been married and divorced once before he met producer Cassanda Coates.

Coates suffered a stroke while giving birth to their daughter, Kate, and Danson spent years caring for her.

But, after Danson's highly-publicized affair with Whoopi Goldberg, the couple divorced in 1993 and Coates got a huge payday.

17. Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker - $45 million

Michael Douglas met Austrian socialite Diandra Luker when she was just 19, and they were married less than two months later.

Luker was with Douglas from 1977 to 1995, which is when he filmed his biggest hits, including Fatal Attraction, Wall Street, and Basic Instinct.

Cheating rumors eventually drove the couple apart, and Douglas later married Catherine Zeta-Jones.

16. Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey - $47 million

With a solo career and a part in the popular band Genesis, Phil Collins has a huge wealth of music royalties.

Which explains why the singer's third wife, translator Orianne Cevey, walked away with $47 million.

It wasn't Collins' only losing day in court. His second wife, Jill Tavelman, reportedly got $30 million in her own settlement.

But obviously there's no bad blood between Collins and Cevey, because the pair have recently reunited.

15. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills - $48.6 million

Paul McCartney
McCartney with Mills (in red) in 2003.Kremlin

The third time was the charm for former Beatle Paul McCartney, who married his third (and current) wife Nancy Shevell in 2011.

His second marriage, a six-year union to model Heather Mills, ended in disaster in 2008.

Mills accused McCartney of abusing her, and although she walked away with millions it was only a drop in the bucket for the rock star - who is reportedly worth more than a billion dollars.

14. James Cameron and Linda Hamilton - $50 million

James Cameron Linda Hamilton
Angela George / Jareed - Wikimedia

James Cameron, who directed such hits as Titanic and The Abyss, fell in love with Terminator star Linda Hamilton while they were on set together.

The couple dated for years, but only lasted eight months together after tying the knot.

Hamilton blamed the split on Cameron's obsession with work, and his affair with actress Suzy Amis (who is now his fifth and current wife).

13. Kelsey and Camille Grammer - estimated $60 million

Kelsey Grammer Camille
Tenebrae - Wikimedia / Family Equality - Flickr

When Frasier star Kelsey Grammer and his wife Camille divorced, it offered plenty of drama for her hit TV show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

The couple blamed the split on "irreconcilable differences," but based on Grammer's saucy new tattoo infidelity may have played a part too.

Either way, Camille got $60 million worth of Grammer's earnings from shows like Cheers and The Simpsons, along with a chunk of his retirement fund.

12. Kenny Rogers and Marianne Gordon - estimated $60 million

Like other men on this list, country legend Kenny Rogers is a serial husband, and has been married five times.

His fourth walk down the aisle - with Hee Haw star Marianne Gordon, was his costliest.

Rogers gambled on love and lost, paying out $60 million to his ex-wife.

11. Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva - estimated $80 million

Kevin Costner's college sweetheart, Cindy Silva stuck with him for 16 years, and the pair had three children together.

During that time, Costner starred in many hit films, including The Untouchables, Field of Dreams, and The Bodyguard.

Costner claimed Silva couldn't stand his "sexy roles," and she walked away with $80 million.

10. Madonna and Guy Ritchie - as much as $92 million

Madonna Guy Ritchie
Christian Weger / Kathy Hutchins - Wikimedia

The Material Girl is the only woman on this list who paid a settlement to her ex-husband, British movie director Guy Ritchie.

Madonna's publicist claims she paid at least $76 million, while the actual sum is shrouded in mystery.

But even the minimum would make this settlement Britain's most expensive public settlement by a female divorcee.

9. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren - estimated at $100 million

Early in the morning of November 27, 2009, pro golfer Tiger Woods fled his home after being chased outside by his wife, model Elin Nordegren.

After Woods crashed into a fire hydrant, the messy details of his multiple affairs came to light. By August of the next year, the pair finalized their divorce.

Nordegren's $100 million settlement paid for, among lots and lots of other things, a $12 million Florida mansion.

8. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving - estimated at $100 million

Steven Spielberg Amy Irving
Romain Dubois / Alan Light - Wikimedia

Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg fell in love with actress Amy Irving, but she compared being married to him as like "being a politician's wife."

Irving also complained that she "didn't want to be known as Steven's girlfriend."

The pair had reportedly written their pre-nuptial agreement on a napkin, and Irving's lawyers tore it to shreds in court to net her $100 million.

7. Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison - estimated at $118 million

Star Wars actor Harrison Ford is also famous for keeping his personal life very private.

But we know that the star and screenwriter Melissa Mathison were married for more than two decades, and had a pair of children together.

When they divorced, Mathison negotiated for future earnings from films Ford had made while they were married, which inflated her total settlement.

Ford is now married to actress Calista Flockhart.

6. Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl - estimated at $125 million

Garth Brooks.
Garth Brooks and his current wife, Trisha Yearwood.Disney - Flickr

Rumors of an affair between country star Garth Brooks and singer Trisha Yearwood eventually ruined his marriage to Sandy Mahl, his college sweetheart.

Brooks didn't do much to dismiss the rumors, especially since he married Yearwood just four years after the divorce was finalized.

Of course, Brooks is one of the best-selling artists of all time, so Mahl's $125 million settlement actually seems a little small.

5. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey - estimated at $150 million

"Sweet Caroline" singer Neil Diamond married his high school sweetheart, but dumped her just four years later for production assistant Marcia Murphey.

The couple stayed together from 1969 to the mid-90s, which meant Murphy was entitled to much of the proceeds from Diamond's impressive career.

But there was no bad blood between the couple: Diamond blamed himself for the breakup, and said Murphy was "worth every penny."

4. Michael and Juanita Jordan - $168 million

Michael Jordan Juanita Vanoy
DOD - Wikimedia / Craig's Chicago Business - YouTube

NBA superstar Michael Jordan married his wife Juanita in 1989, midway through his impressive (and lucrative) basketball career.

Juanita filed for divorce in 2002, but eventually made up with Jordan. But by 2006, the marriage was beyond repair and the couple made their split official.

While the divorce was friendly, Juanita's massive payout was the largest celebrity divorce settlement on record at the time. (Fun fact: today the settlement would be worth more than $200 million.)

3. Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore Gibson - estimated at $424 million

Mel Gibson divorce
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Like other couples on this list with huge settlements, these two met before one of them had their big break.

Mel Gibson was a struggling actor and Robyn Moore was a dental nurse when they tied the knot.

Of course, Gibson went on to star in Braveheart and a slew of other Hollywood hits.

After his infamous drunk driving arrest in 2006, Moore decided she'd had enough, and walked away with a massive cut of his earnings.

2. Rupert and Anna Murdoch - estimated at $2.4 billion (adjusted for inflation)

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch commands a massive empire of news and entertainment companies, including 20th Century Fox and the Fox Broadcasting company.

He met reporter Anna Torv in the 1960s, when he was still a lowly newspaper owner and she was one of his reporters.

By the time of their divorce in 1999, Torv's shared of Murdoch's wealth had reached the billions, making her one of the wealthiest divorcees ever.

1. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein - estimated at $5.6 billion (adjusted for inflation)

He was a French art dealer and horse breeder.

She was his socialite wife, dubbed the "Catwoman" by tabloids for her shocking plastic surgery.

When they divorced in 1999, the ugly court proceedings and huge sums at stake attracted endless attention from the press.

When the dust settled, Jocelyn had clawed away billions from her ex-husband. But she needed it: by Jocelyn's own admission, she spent $60,000 on her phone bill alone.

Were you blown away by the huge settlements on this list?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com