Most expensive celebrity divorces

Yahoo! News had a story about the most expensive divorces among celebrities, as per a Forbes article. I remember a friend complaining when GE head Jack Welch’s wife wanted over $100 million. She hosted dinners, stuck around, and supported her husband while he built up his career, so I didn’t see a problem with it. It’s an obscene amount of money, but it was money that was earned while she was part of the household.

Spouses who took their celebrity partners to the cleaners, in order of magnitude are:
1. Michael Jordan’s first wife of 18 years, bank employee Juanita Vanoy. They had three children together. Their settlement is pending, but she is expected to get about $150 million.

2. Neil Diamond’s second wife from 1969 – 1996, Marcia Murphey. They had two children together. Murphey took home an estimated $150 million, and crooner Diamond say she was “worth every penny.” It was the fourth most expensive divorce in history.

3. Steven Spielberg’s first wife of three and a half years, actress Amy Irving. They had one child, a boy, and divorced in 1989 with Irving getting a settlement of $100 million.

4. Harrison Ford’s second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (the article lists her as Ford’s first wife, but according to Wikipedia she was his second). They had two children together and were married from 1983 to 2001. Mathison got about $85 million.

5. Kevin Costner’s first wife from 1978-1994, Cindy Silva. They had three children together that are all college-age now. Silva got about $80 million.

And of course there are many more financially painful divorces, including James Cameron’s $50 million payout to Linda Hamilton and Michael Douglas’ $45 million to his first wife Diandra Douglas. Hearing all these big numbers, you realize that if someone has $100 million and has to give $50 million away it’s not like they’ll be hurting. What’s really painful is when a person can’t make ends meet and has alimony payments that cut into that.

I’m reminded of lyrics from the song “Makin’ Whoopee” that I’ve heard several versions of including Frank Sinatra’s:

He doesn’t make much money
Five thousand dollars per;
Some judge who thinks he’s funny
Says, “You pay six to her.”

He says, “Now judge, suppose I fail?”
The judge says, “Bud, right into jail.
You’d better keep her
You’ll find it cheaper
Than making whoopee.”

Thanks to Yahoo! for this story and Hello! Magazine for some of the pictures.

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7 Responses to “Most expensive celebrity divorces”

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  1. whatever says:

    if a person is rich and thinks he can buy off a woman with money, then he deserves…

    there are things unfair to men and so are to women…

  2. Poor Boopie says:

    These divorce payoffs will probably pale in comparison to what Paul McCartney is going to have to give Heather Mills when it’s all said and done with. He’ll be wishing he hadn’t let little head do the thinking when he married her and gotten that prenup. Should have been common sense considering he’s a billionaire.

  3. Busy Body says:

    Then how much did Brad give Jen? 5 Dollars? And Tom Cruise and Nicole, I guess Tommy boy hid the numbers very well, I heard that it was 110mil, and I figured that that is why Nicole has that Ahmadinejad smuck on her face. Makes me want to bitch slap it off.

    Man, these blokes must hate these women this much to part with all thazt just to get rid of them! Now I know why Rod Stewar was procrastnating to finalise the divorce. And I thought he was just taking lancaster for a ride on his old ass.

    By the way am moving to hollywood at this rate. Hope I can nail George Clooney. Wish me luck!

  4. Other Karen says:

    If you’re worth gajillions, do you really notice if you lose even a large fraction of that money?

    I’m keeping an eye on the Disney divorce. That’s going to be worth loads.

    I think it’s a shame that Ellen Barkin didn’t get very much out of her divorce. Her billionaire hubby decided he didn’t want her one day anymore.

    Note Trump’s not on the list.

  5. Lulu says:

    I wonder if they have to pay alimony as well.

  6. ella says:

    Other Karen, please tell me about the disney divorce…i dont think ive heard about that. Disney as in one of the heirs of Disney???
    oh well, thanks. ;o)

  7. ali says:

    wow, to win the lottery ten times over…
    lemme dream on.