You know, we think that we’re starting to get a little bit predictable. However, we think that it’s only a matter of perspective. There are just a few classic topics that are too much fun not to cover. If you really liked our series on the most expensive wedding ceremonies, then you should have already expected us to go into the most expensive divorce settlements.
Divorce is part of life — there’s no law says that you will stay with your spouse for the rest of your life. For everyday people, divorce is something that is time consuming and expensive — and can really set you back on your financial goals. For most of the people in this article, divorce is something almost expected. When you live in the public eye, there is a lot of pressure to live your life in a certain way, and not everyone is ready for that.
So we found a few of the most expensive divorce settlements. Some of these are classics, but who knows — you might even find a few new gems to savor!
1. Kevin Costner / Cindy Silva (80M)
So, let’s start “small” — and only in a list of celebrity divorces can you call 80 million dollars small, but you get what we mean. Our first divorce on the list is between Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva. Now, you might think that the number is way too small for a man like Kevin Costner, who is famous for movies like The Untouchables and Field of Dreams, but you have to remember that this is something that happened before Costner actually became the big film star.
He met Cindy Silva while he was at college, and the couple fell in love right away, marrying in 1978. By the 90s, the media was in Kevin Costner’s business hardcore, making it hard for him to hold onto his marriage. Perhaps if it had just been a one time affair, Silva might have stayed with him. However, the restaurateur decided that sometimes, a leopard really can’t change their spots.
2. Steven Spielberg / Amy Irving (100M)
Here’s a lesson in pre-nuptial agreements: don’t write them on napkins! It usually makes the judge throw your pre-nuptial agreement right out of court. Steven Spielberg had to learn this the hard way through his first marriage to Amy Irving.
The famous director had to pay $100 million dollars to finalize his divorce for a marriage that lasted just four years into the marriage.
3. Harrison Ford / Melissa Mathison (118M)
Is $118 million a good price to pay for getting rid of a wife that you don’t want anymore? Harrison Ford certainly thinks so. In 1983, he married Melissa Mathison. In 2004, they ended 20 years of marriage.
Clean break? Far from it. What caused them to split is the fact that he was in a relationship with Calista Flockhart, which was all over the tabloids even before he went for the divorce.
It wasn’t like Melissa could look away from the truth either — Harrison Ford adopted Flockhart’s son, a little boy named Liam. This too was done before the divorce.
This level of humiliation can be too much for anyone to bear, and Melissa Mathison cracked under the strain of being married to someone that obviously didn’t want to be with her anymore. She filed for divorce and received 118 million dollars — not bad at all.
4. Michael Jordan / Juanita Jordan (168M)
Remember Michael Jordan? Before he was the big basketball star we all know and love, he had another title: husband. He married Juanita Jordan in 1989, and they stayed together for 17 years. They filed for divorce twice — in 2002 and 2006. The settlement was 168 million dollars.
The reason for the split was one that we all know quite well — infidelity, which made things complicated. The woman in question, Karla Knafel, claimed that Jordan was the father of the child she was still carrying at the time. It was later found that the child wasn’t Jordan’s at all, but another man’s child.
As far as Juanita goes, she isn’t innocent here either. It’s rumored that she has a relationship with a 26 year old man — clearly several years her junior!
5. Craig McCaw / Wendy McCaw (460M)
This story isn’t as well known as some of the others on the list, but that doesn’t mean anything. Craig and Wendy met at college and became sweethearts. They got married about a year after they both graduated from Stanford University, and stayed together for about 22 years. However, things started to turn sour as the couple realized that they were just into different things. They agreed to a divorce, and Wendy received $460 million. The former Mrs. McCaw did go on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, but that run didn’t last long.
6. Tiger Woods / Elin Nordgren-Woods (750M)
This is a divorce that definitely got a lot of attention in the American press. After all, it featured one of golf’s most famous players, Tiger Woods, and his wife — a Swedish model named Elin Nordgren. The tipping point was the revelation that Tiger had slept with over a dozen women…that the world knows about.
Rachael Uchitel, one of the first women to step forward, reportedly received 10 million dollars to keep her mouth closed about the details — and has also carved a name for herself in other media outlets.
As far as the divorce has gone for Tiger, numerous sponsors have still supported him and continue to pay him high dollar amounts.
The couple has two children together, and those children look like they’ll still be taken care of for a very long time.
7. Adnan Khashoggi / Soraya Khashoggi
You might not have heard about Adnan Khashoggi, but that’s okay — he’s still wealthy with or without your knowledge. He is a businessman from Saudi Arabia that handled international arms dealings for the Saudi royal family — definitely a lucrative gig! He branched out into a wide variety of different businesses, which is how he has amassed so much wealth.
His wife was just 20 at the time they married in 1961, and things seemed good for a while. However, access to so much wealth gave them both access to temptations — and infidelities were committed on both sides.
The media had a field day with the scandal, and the pressure to correct their acts caused a unanimous divorce. For Soraya, it meant an $872M dollar payday — not too bad!
Yes, that’s right. It’s between Elena Rybolovlev and Dmitry Rybolovlev, to the tune of 5.7 BILLION dollars!
The couple was married for 23 years, and they have two children. Infidelity is the reason for the split, with the former wife of the Russian businessman claiming multiple affairs. 5.7 billion dollars is a lot of money, and it’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, the former Mrs. Rybolovlev does.
That’s all from us. So, now it’s your turn — which divorce is your favorite? There’s a lot of money on this list, and we guess that it has to go somewhere. Would be kinda nice if they put that type of money into our pockets, of course!