When celebrities and the uber-wealthy marry and divorce, there are usually prenups at play to protect the money both parties bring into the marriage (or at least one party). But every now and then there is a major settlement that makes headlines. Here are just a few of the biggies (some of them you may even remember).
1. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall
Lips and hips apparently don’t make for marriage material, as the rock star and model discovered. In truth, the couple’s Bali wedding was never legal, but Hall still walked away with $25 million in their 1999 split, after twenty years of marriage.
2. Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker
After twenty years of marriage, Diandra filed for divorce in 1997 and received the $45 million she requested, claiming that her husband was a sex addict. It wasn’t long before he married actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
3. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
The former model requested $250 million while the former Beatle offered $30 mil. They met on the low end at $48.6 million in 2008 ($33 mil in cash plus $15 mil in real estate), along with $70,000 a year for the couple’s daughter, Beatrice, plus a few other concessions. Unfortunately, the settlement wasn’t reached before a very ugly battle had taken place in court (and the court of public opinion).
4. James Cameron and Linda Hamilton
Many a Hollywood power couple has tried and failed to toe the marriage line, and the director of Terminator 2 and its butt-kicking star were no exception. Although their relationship lasted for years, they were only married 17 months before they called it quits in 1997. She walked away with $50 million.
5. Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva
The college sweethearts ended their 16-year marriage in 2004, and thanks to alleged infidelity (and no prenup), the actor paid $80 million in the divorce settlement.
6. Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison
After 18 years of marriage, the longtime star split from his wife in 2004, giving up $85 million plus a share of future royalties on movies he made during their marriage (including Indiana Jones).
7. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving
Despite having a prenup in place, the producer/director coughed up $100 million after only four years of marriage, possibly due to Irving’s claim that she signed the agreement without proper legal representation.
8. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey
After 25 years of marriage, this entertainment couple divorced with a settlement of $150 million going to the former TV producer. Diamond was quoted as saying she was “worth every penny”. No one heard him but the chair (which may have been the only stick of furniture he had left).
9. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy
When this couple married, they had a prenup in place that promised her half of all his earnings. So when they split in 2006, she wound up with $168 million plus the couple’s seven-acre estate.
10. Rupert and Anna Murdoch
The media magnate wasn’t as lucky in love as he’s been in business, and when he divorced his wife of nearly forty years in 1999, he was forced to pay her an astronomical $1.7 billion (much of it in assets). She gave up a seat on the board of News Corp, which was probably for the best considering he didn’t wait a month before marrying an employee.
About the author: Sarah Danielson writes for HowellandChristmas.com, a Charleston car accident lawyer.