15 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces Ever

Arnold Schwarzenegger with wife
Sometimes, celebrity marriages start fast and end faster. They say it is the nature of marriage, but others believe it has something to do with busy schedules and luxurious lifestyles. Also, as actors, they find it hard to commit and work things out, especially at times when they experience ups and downs in their relationship. But, regardless of the reason for splitting up, celebrities need to protect their most valued assets and thus, most of them opt to sign a prenuptial agreement before they exchange vows. However, there are instances when celebrities decide to enter into a marriage, even in the absence of a prenuptial agreement. In events that these marriages end, the results are often costly and difficult to handle as celebrities work hard to keep their wealth for themselves. Take a look at the most expensive celebrity divorces in the history of Hollywood:

15. Sumner Redstone and Phyllis Gloria Raphael

Cost: $100 million

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In 1947, Sumner Redstone married Phyllis Gloria Raphael. After 52 years, his marriage to Phyllis Redstone ended in divorces.  They had two children, Brent and Shari Redstone. At that time, the media mogul’s net worth was almost $7 billion. According to reports, the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement. However, it was never made public. It was said that Phyllis received a $100 million cash settlement. The divorce settlement was only finalized in 2002. Three years after, Redstone married Paula Fortunato. On October 17, 2008, he also filed for divorce.  

14. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving

Cost: $100 million

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Steven Spielberg met Irving when she auditioned for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. They dated from 1976 to 1979. In 1985, they were married. It was after Spielberg made it big with his first Indiana Jones film. After four years of marriage, they divorces. There was no prenuptial agreement as Irving said she did not have any legal representation. In the end, Irving was awarded $100 million. It was more or less half of Spielberg’s total fortune at that time. As of now, Spielberg’s reported net worth is  $3 billion.

13. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

Cost: $100 million

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During the 2001 Open Championship, Elin Nordegren met Tiger Woods. It was Jesper Parnevik, who introduced her to the professional golfer. In 2003, Woods and Nordegren attended the Presidents Cup tournament together and became officially engaged. In 2004, they were married. The couple had two children – Sam Alexis Woods and Charlie Axel Woods. Two years after, their marriage became the subject of extensive media coverage after Woods admitted to infidelity. The couple finalized their divorces in 2010. Nordegren received $100 million, so she purchased a $12 million mansion in Florida.  

12. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey

Cost: $150 million

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Neil Diamond, an American singer and songwriter, has been married three times. However, his marriage to Marcia Murphey was the one that caught the attention of the media. When they first met, Murphey was married to his first wife, Jaye Posner. Their marriage lasted for 25 years, but in 1994, the pair separated, saying they had irreconcilable differences. Diamond’s assets were worth $300 million so it has to be divided into half. Marcia received $150 million, which Diamond willingly gave her. Diamond had one thing left to say, “She was worth every penny.”

11. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy

Cost: $168 million

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A small Las Vegas wedding happened in 1989 during the second season with the Chicago Bulls, when Michael married Juanita. They spent 17 years together and had three children. In 2002, Juanita filed for divorces. She didn’t even try to work things out. It was only in 2006 when the Jordans separated for good. After the hearing, the freshly divorces couple left the courtroom and watched their son play in a game of basketball. Juanita received $168 million from the settlement, along with the custody of their children and their Chicago mansion.

10. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Cost: $250 million

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Maria Shriver is best known as the niece of John F. Kennedy. She was a producer and a news writer before she resigned in 2003. At that time, she was married to Arnold Schwarzenegger, an actor, producer and businessman, who later became the Governor of California. After 25 years of marriage, the couple announced their divorces. Shriver filed for divorce when she found out Schwarzenegger had an illegitimate child with Mildred Baena, their household staff. The actor kept it as a secret for years and admitted he was the real father of the child in 2011. It was a publicized in Hollywood and under the law, Schwarzenegger has to hand over half of his wealth to Shriver. The settlement costs approximately $250 million.

9. Irina Malandina and Roman Abramovich

Cost: $300 million

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Celebrities normally file for divorces whenever they suspect their partners of having an affair. Sometimes, they are also after the large amount of money in the settlement. Irina Malandina, a former Aeroflot flight attendant, wasn’t after the money. Although she was the wife of a Russian business tycoon, Roman Abramovich, she stood up for her decision and filed for divorce. She suspected that her husband is having an affair. Abramovich was the ninth richest person in Russia at that time. As the owner of the Chelsea Football Club, his net worth was $9.1 billion. When the couple divorced in 2007, Malandina was compensated with approximately $300 million. After that, Roman was able to set up a new home with the mistress, Dasha Zhukova.  

8. Robert and Sheila Johnson

Cost: $400 million

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There are couples who find success when working along with their partners. This was the case for Robert and Sheila Johnson. As a married couple, they were able to start the BET Network. At the height of their marriage, they became very wealthy. When they sold the network to Viacom, they became even wealthier. Robert became the first African-American billionaire. Unfortunately, their 33-year long marriage ended in 2002. According to them, they had personal differences. In the end, Sheila received a large sum of fortune, which was around $400 million. After the divorce, Sheila married William T. Newman, the Chief Judge of Arlington County Circuit Court, who took care of her divorce.  

7. Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore

Cost: $450 million

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With seven children and nearly thirty years of being together, it seems that a couple would last forever. However, this was not true for Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore. The couple separated in 2006. After three years, there were speculations that Gibson is having an affair, forcing Moore to file for divorce. Because there was no prenuptial agreement involved, Moore was entitled to have half of Gibson’s net worth. Gibson was then at the peak of his career. At the age of 55, he had already owned an island in Fiji. He was also an acclaimed actor and director. Moore was then compensated $450 million.

6. Craig McCaw and Wendy Petrak

Cost: $460 million

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Within 21 years of marriage with Wendy Petrak, Craig McCaw already founded McCaw Cellular, which was then sold to AT&T for $12.6 billion. But, due to personal differences, the pair split in 1995. It was McCaw, who initiated the divorce. Aside from money, the couple also divided all their luxuries, including the family yacht, private jets and their large mansion. After the settlement, Petrak was given around $460 million. Since the divorce settlement was quite large, McCaw had financial issues. Still, he went on to starting a new company, Clearwire, which later merged with Sprint Nextel. In 2012, he stepped down as CEO and sold his shares for $100 million.  

5. Steve Wynn and Elaine Pascal

Cost: $741 million

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Steve Wynn and Elaine Pascal married not just once, but twice. In 1963, the couple decided to tie the knot, but in 1986, they separated. They gave their relationship another chance and decided to remarry in 1991. In 2010, they finally called it quits. When they were starting their married life, they resided in Las Vegas, Nevada. During that time, Wynn tried to rebuild and revitalize the Las Vegas Strip. Now, he is already famous for his resorts and hotels, such as The Bellagio, Treasure Island, The Mirage, The Encore and The Wynn. With all these businesses, his estimated net worth in 2004 was already $1 billion. When their marriage ended, his wife got 11 million shares of the Wynn stock, which was equal to $741 million.  

4. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Maria Torv

Cost: $1.2 billion

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At an early age, Rupert Murdoch already had a fortune since he had to take over his father’s newspaper, Sunday Mail. In the next forty years, he made millions. He acquired news outlets like New York Magazine and Chicago Times. He got hold of the Century FOX Film Corporation as well, which he later consolidated with independent TV stations. He even bought some publishing companies and merged them with the famed HarperCollins. Because of his dedication and hard work, his reported net worth was close to $8 billion. He created a huge amount of money, which was more than enough for him, his wife of 32 years, Anna Torv, and their four children. Unexpectedly, the pair divorced and Anna took away $1.2 billion.  

3. Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Ecclestone

Cost: $1.3 billion

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Bernie Ecclestone is the CEO and the president of Formula One racing, while Slavica was a model. Their initial meeting happened at the Italian Grand Prix in 1982, where Slavica was modeling. When they were married, the Ecclestone’s had a net worth of $4.2 billion. Because of their height and age difference, they seemed an unlikely couple. Slavica was a six-foot tall Armani model while Bernie was shorter. Still, they stayed together for 23 years and raised two daughters well. In 2009, they separated and divorced. According to The Sunday Times Rich List for 2010, Slavica Ecclestone is the richest millionaire as the result of divorce.

2. Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng

Cost: $1.8 billion

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Rupert Murdoch’s divorce with Wendi Deng is among the most expensive celebrity divorces to date. This happened before he separated from his previous wife, Anna Torv. Murdoch only dated Deng for a short time. Just 19 days after his divorce with Torv was approved and finalized, they were married. The pair had an age gap. Murdoch was 38 years older than Deng, but still, they managed to stay together for 13 years. However, there were reports that their relationship should have ended earlier. The couple is said to have reached an amicable divorce deal, which reportedly costs $1.8 billion. Deng got the multi-million worth Manhattan penthouse to serve as home, for her and their two daughters.  

1. Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Perisse

Cost: $2.5 billion

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Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Perisse first met in a Kenyan hunting trip. A year after they met, they got married in Las Vegas and lived in New York City. The couple depended on Wildenstein’s family business to support their excessively lavish lifestyle. They owned plenty of luxurious mansions, built in the countryside of France, Paris and the Caribbean. They also had a 66,000-acre ranch in Kenya. In order to please her husband, Jocelyn went through extreme plastic surgeries. Still, her efforts were not enough. She decided to end her marriage with Alec after she caught him in bed with a 19-year-old model. The settlement costs $2.5 billion and for 13 years after the divorce, Jocelyn continued receiving $100 million annually. She claimed she needed the money to support her because for many years, she had become dependent on servants. As a result, she had no idea how to boil an egg or toast bread.   Whoever did something wrong is not really important in a divorce. Basically, the richer the person involved, the greater the payout. And for celebrities who are included in the list of the most expensive celebrity divorces, they sure made history in Hollywood.