With the recent Cox/Arquette split making headlines worldwide, divorce is a topic that getting a lot of attention. Celebrity breakups especially, continue to hold our fascination without a clear reason why. Maybe they make us feel better about our own romantic worries, or perhaps we just enjoy seeing stars brought down to our level. Whatever the case, celebrity divorces are notoriously expensive.
If the numbers associated with some of the most recent divorces aren’t enough to prompt you to sign a pre- or post-nup, maybe this list of uber expensive divorce settlements, in which the spouses of millionaires walk away with more than $100 million, will make you a little more protective of your life savings. After all, divorce happens. As these couples prove, it pays to be prepared.
#5 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorce:
Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving–$100 Million
Starting our countdown is the man who has made some the most well-known and cherished films in history. Of course, with all the ticket sales and merchandising comes boatloads of cash as well, much of which went to Amy when they divorced in 1989.
At the time, Spielberg lost half of his wealth in the settlement. Luckily, he’s worth just a bit more today at approximately $3 billion.
#4 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorce:
Neil Diamond & Marcia Murphey–$150 million
Photo: Irisgerhvia Wikimedia Commons
These two were married in 1969 before Diamond really hit it big in the music industry. Murphy, a television production assistant and Diamond’s second wife, stuck with him for 25 years before calling it quits. She ended up walking away with half of his money, too.
#3 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorce:
Michael & Juanita Jordan–$168 Million
Maybe a quicky wedding in Vegas isn’t the right way to start off a marriage. Though she got a pretty sizable rock out of the arrangement, Juanita and Michael split in 2006 after citing irreconcilable differences. It wasn’t the first time divorce had been an issue, either. Juanita had previously filed in 2002 but withdrew her petition a month later.
Even though the pair eventually signed a post-nuptial agreement after getting hitched, Michael still managed to pay out one of the most expensive divorce settlements to date.
#2 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorce:
Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegre–Around $750 Million
By now we’re all sick of hearing about the breakdown of this marriage, but it has earned a well-deserved spot in this list with an estimated settlement that blows the others out of the water. This very expensive and very public divorce was the result of Tiger’s long procession of mistresses who all decided to make themselves known within a span of several weeks.
And you thought these two would make number one. Amazingly, they’re about $1 billion away from first place!
#1 Most Expensive Celebrity Divorce Ever:
Rupert & Anna Murdoch–$1.7 billion
Maybe the term “celebrity” is used a bit loosely here, but Rupert Murdoch is one of the most well-known names in the media. Plus, the fortune he lost to his second wife is so staggering, it has to be at the top of this list.
These two spent over three decades as husband and wife. When they finally divorced, Anna came away with quite possibly the largest divorce settlement in history. Rupert must not have been too broken up about it, though, because he remarried less than three weeks later.
Even though most of our bank account balances don’t come anywhere close to the celebrities above, anyone with a ring on their finger can learn a lesson from them. Not to deflate your marital bliss, but divorce is just another financial aspect of life that’s quite common whether you like it or not. Preparing your finances for the possibility doesn’t mean you and your spouse will split, but if you do, you’ll certainly be glad you were ready.