The Top Most Expensive Divorces Of All Time

Many couples divorce, but not all couples are famous. Some people question whether there is a difference. Is one break-up not like any other break-up? Do actors, rock stars and millionaire socialites who divorce their partners not experience the same emotional turmoil as ordinary people?

Celebrity divorces have three distinguishing characteristics: they usually involve a public spat, legal battle or epic fall from grace; they receive widespread media coverage; and they are expensive. Very expensive. Listed below are five of the most expensive celebrity divorces of all time.

1. Rupert and Anna Murdoch ($1.7 billion)

One of the world’s richest men, Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch married journalist Anna Torv in 1967. Some 31 years later, Anna discovered that her husband had been engaging in extramarital relations with an executive of Star TV, a subsidiary of News Corporation. Anna subsequently filed for divorce.

Rupert did not contest the divorce, but he did make an effort to oust Anna from the News Corporation board. As with so many public divorces, proceedings turned ugly at this point and Anna’s lawyers fought for every penny, eventually ending up with about 170 billion of them.


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2. Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone (£750 million)

Currently worth more than £2.5 billion, Bernie Ecclestone, who is famous for his involvement in Formula One motor racing, married Slavica Radic in 1985. Slavica, a 6’2″ former Croatian model, was aged 27 when she wed the then 55-year-old Ecclestone. The couple have two children together, daughters Tamara and Petra.

Slavica’s grounds for divorce were relatively uncontroversial: Ecclestone worked too hard. Complaining that a billionaire businessman spends too much time working may seem a little absurd after 24 years of marriage, but Slavica managed to leave Bernie with a £750-million chunk of his estate.

3. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren ($750 million)

No man has suffered a more public fall from grace than Tiger Woods. Well, at least not since Mel Gibson (see below).

Born Eldrick Tont Woods, golf’s most infamous swinger (perhaps ‘putter’ is a more appropriate term?) found himself in the rough several years ago when wife Elin, a former Swedish model, discovered that he had been cheating on her. One car accident and 121 alleged mistresses later, the pair divorced.

Elin accepted a divorce settlement of $750 million in return for her silence on the break-up.

4. Mel and Robyn Gibson ($425 million)

Mel Gibson’s problems with drink, women and Jewish police officers are well-documented, but his separation from wife Robyn in 2011 flew relatively low under the radar. The Australian actor’s affair with Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has a child, dominated headlines, especially when the relationship broke down (apparently along with Gibson’s sanity). Robyn Gibson, meanwhile, walked away from Mel with approximately half of his net worth.

5. Madonna and Guy Ritchie (£50-60 million)

Home to a number of top celebrities it is also the setting for some of director Guy Ritchie’s most famous movies. Sherlock Holmes was not needed to solve his marital problems with US singer and actress Madonna.

However, after the pair made public their contempt for each other, having been married for eight years, Ritchie and Madonna, who have two children together, finalised divorce proceedings. This time it was the former husband who received the lion’s share of the settlement, with Ritchie receiving up to £60 million.

This article was written on behalf of criminal lawyers Manchester

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