Incredibly Expensive Divorces

  • Split Down the Middle

    This has been the year of celebrity divorces. Jon and Kate officially divorced last week, Billy Joel’s wife filed for divorce earlier this year, and rumor has it that Tiger Woods and his wife Elin may be divorcing in the near future, too. While the exact divorce settlement for Jon and Kate is not known, it is unlikely to involve too much money… relatively speaking. Tiger is a different story. Already, some have estimated a divorce from his wife could cost him as much as $300 million. That would certainly make him a contender for having one of the most expensive divorces in history, but amazingly, there are several settlements even bigger than that. Photo Credit: Keith Allison
    Michael Jordan
  • Michael Jordan

    Many consider Tiger Woods to be the Michael Jordan of golf… and now they may soon have an expensive divorce in common too. In 2007, Jordan divorced his wife of 17 years, Juanita, and had to pay her $168 million. It was the most expensive celebrity divorce in history at that time, narrowly beating out the next one on our list. Photo Credit:
    Neil Diamond
  • Neil Diamond

    In 1996, Diamond divorced Marcia Murphy and was forced to pay her an estimated $150 million, though apparently he didn’t regret his decision too much. According to, Diamond later said that his wife was “worth every penny.” Smooth, Neil. Very smooth. Photo Credit: whiper
    Roman Abramovich
  • Roman Abramovich

    He may not be a household name for some in America, but wherever Abramovich goes, dollar bills fly. Abramovich is a Russian billionaire and one of Forbes richest people in the world. Like Tiger, Abramovich’s relationship with his wife. Irina, was partly foiled by his weakness for models. Rumors of divorce lingered for several years before it was finalized in 2007. Some speculated Abramovich would have to fork over one billion dollars (or more), yet he ended up getting away with a mere $300 million settlement. (However, if you take into account the four properties he gave to his wife, the total might actually be more than $1 billion.) Photo Credit:
    Robert Johnson
  • Robert Johnson

    Johnson became the first African American billionaire thanks to the success of his cable channel, BET. In 2002, his bank account took a big hit when he divorced his wife Sheila and was forced to pay a massive $400 million to her. Photo Credit:
    Steven Spielberg
  • Steven Spielberg

    Steven Spielberg’s divorce was one for the record books back in 1989. He paid his wife, Amy Irving, an incredible $100 million, which was half of the money he had made until that point. We’re pretty sure he’s made that back and then some by now though. Photo Credit:
    James Cameron
  • James Cameron

    Spielberg isn’t the only director to lose big bucks on divorce. James Cameron paid more than $50 million to his wife and actress Linda Hamilton (they were only married for about a year and half). That’s a pretty expensive flop – let’s hope for his sake that Avatar doesn’t suffer a similar fate. Photo Credit:
    Adnan Khashoggi
  • Adnan Khashoggi

    This billionaire from Saudi Arabia made his fortune as an international arms dealer, but he lost a big chunk of it in a tense battle with his wife, Soraya. Their marriage ended in 1974 with the agreement that Khashoggi would support her and his children for the rest of their lives. However, five years later, Soraya sued him for a massive $2.5 billion, and eventually ended up with an $874 million divorce settlement. Not too shabby. Photo Credit:
    Bernie Ecclestone
  • Bernie Ecclestone

    He is the man in charge of Formula One racing, but the good times came to a screeching halt when his wife, Slavica, filed for divorce. According to CNBC, the final payout was somewhere between $1 and $1.2 billion. Many had actually predicted his wife would end up with 1 billion pounds (or roughly 2 million dollars.) Recently, Slavica was listed as one of the most wealthy people in the U.K. thanks to the settlement. Photo Credit:
    Mel Gibson
  • Mel Gibson

    Earlier this year, Mel Gibson’s wife Robyn filed for divorce. Though the divorce settlement still has not been revealed, speculation is that it could be one of the biggest ever. There was apparently no pre-nup and so she is entitled to half of everything he has, a fortune that is estimated to be around $1 billion.  Gibson’s wife is currently trying to determine his complete net worth. Meanwhile, Gibson is busy gallivanting around with his new girlfriend Oksana, a Russian musician, with whom he recently had a child. Sounds complicated. Photo Credit:
    Rupert Murdoch
  • Rupert Murdoch

    Rupert Murdoch puts all these other divorces to shame. The media mogul had a bitter split with his second wife Anna and eventually paid her $1.7 billion of his fortune. (Interestingly, $110 million of this was given to her in cash.) However, Murdoch was back on his feet fast. Just over two weeks after the divorce settlement was finalized, he got married again. For his sake, let’s hope this one lasts… or he’s got a better pre-nup. Photo Credit:
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