The Most Expensive Divorce In History

In certain circumstances a divorce can involve massive amounts of money – the kind that could dwarf some of the biggest lottery jackpots around. investigates the biggest financial settlements in divorce history.

Divorce is a tragic and difficult period in a person’s life. It is imperative that the divorce proceedings are handled carefully and efficiently to ensure that both parties are satisfied. Of course, satisfying both parties in a divorce can be almost impossible. Especially when vast sums of money are at stake!

It’s The News Of The World

The dubious honour of having the most expensive divorce in history goes to Rupert Murdoch who divorced his second wife, Anna Murdoch, in 1999. Murdoch, CEO of ‘News Corporation’, the world's second-largest media conglomerate, forked out an estimated $1.7 BILLION Dollars in the divorce settlement.

It’s not all bad news for Murdoch who was quick to marry his third wife, waiting just 17 days after his divorce was finalised. His 3rd wife, Wendi Deng, is 38 years his junior and heads up her husband's Chinese media investments!

Expensive Divorce

Rupert Murdoch narrowly beats Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone whose divorce settlement came in at an estimated 1.2 billion USD.

Although businessmen and entrepreneurs seem to feature predominantly in a list of the world’s most expensive divorces, there are many famous people on the list as well. These include notable sports men, actors and musicians.

Hollywood Divorces

Harrison Ford's divorce from Melissa Mathison ranks as the biggest divorce in Hollywood history. Han Solo’s decision to ‘fly solo’ cost him an estimated $118 million Dollars!

Other major Hollywood players who have been involved in big-money divorces include:

•    Steven Spielberg
•    Kevin Kostner
•    James Cameron
•    Michael Douglas

Collectively these guys have handed out nearly $275 million Dollars in divorce payments.

(Note: these figures were accurate as of January 2012 - Mel Gibson's divorce currently ranks as the biggest Hollywood divorce at $425 million USD)

Music Industry Divorces

Neil Diamond leads the list of highest divorce settlements in the music industry. His divorce cost him an estimated $150 million. He is in good company with some other famous names including Madonna, Kenny Rogers, Paul McCartney, Lionel Richie and Mick Jagger who have all had to pay massive amounts to their exes.

Sport Star Divorces

The most expensive “celebrity divorce” in history was Michael Jordan's divorce from Juanita Jordan in 2007. The Basketball legend paid out in excess of $150 million to ‘slam-dunk’ the divorce.

Australian golfing legend Greg Norman's divorce from Laura Andrassy (who worked as a flight attendant before their marriage in 1981) is estimated at $105 million. Another famous golfer, Tiger Woods, comes close to that with an estimated $100 million divorce settlement from his wife Elin (and perhaps even greater costs to Tiger personally if one factors in the cost of lost sponsorship deals during the divorce scandal).

Big Buck Breakups

Whatever your opinion is on these expensive divorce settlements one thing is clear, divorces can be a very costly exercise – or a very profitable one, depending which side you are on! As author James Holt McGavran once stated, "There is a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage." Perhaps he meant to say ‘Divorce’?

This post was written by
Anna Khlebnikova - who has written 371 articles
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