Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In History

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The process of going through a divorce can be stressful and emotions are at an all-time high. But divorce can also be costly!

“The cost of divorce can vary but you’re more than likely going to have to spend thousands of dollars during the whole process,” says Thomas D. Bumgardner, an attorney with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC. “It all depends on how messy the divorce is and if a prenuptial agreement was put in place before the marriage.

Of course, having to shell out thousands of dollars is a lot, but it pales in comparison to the most expensive divorces in history, with some reaching into the billion dollar range.

#10: Robert Johnson and Sheila Johnson – $400 million

Robert Johnson and Sheila Johnson married in 1969 and divorced in 2002. During their 33 year marriage, the couple co-founded the network Black Entertainment Television (BET).

The couple became the first African-American billionaires in 2000, two years before they decided to go their separate ways.

#9: Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore Gibson – $425 million

Actor and filmmaker Mel Gibson and his ex-wife Robyn Moore Gibson were married for 26 years and had seven children before deciding to get a divorce in 2006.

The couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement so that entitled Robyn to have half of his $850 million fortune. Their divorce settlement is one of the largest ones in Hollywood history.

#8: Craig McCaw and Wendy McCaw – $460 million

Craig McCaw is a businessman and entrepreneur who made his money in the cellphone industry. McCaw and his wife called it quits in 1997 after 21 years of marriage.

The divorce settlement was amicable and most of the money came from stock in Nextel.

#7: Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva – $604 million

Dmitry Rybolovlev is a Russian businessman and investor. His wife Elena Rybolovleva filed for divorce in 2008 after 21 years of marriage. She cited “serial infidelity” as the reason behind the divorce.

This settlement didn’t end so amicably, with it taking seven years to reach an agreement in their divorce. At first, a court awarded Elena a record $4.8 billion but that ruling was reversed. She ended up getting $604 million in the settlement.

#6: Adnan Khashoggi and Soraya Khashoggi – $874 million

Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian international arms dealer, married Soraya Khashoggi in 1961. The two lived a lavish lifestyle with 17 homes, three planes and three yachts!

The couple split in 1980 and Soraya was given $874 million, which would be more than $2.5 billion today!

#5: Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall – $974.8 million

Harold Hamm, who made his money in the gas and oil industry, divorced his wife of 24 years Sue Ann Arnall in 2012.

Harold ended up writing her a check for $974.8 million but Sue Ann didn’t deposit it because she tried to hold off for more money! But the courts decided that the nearly $1 billion settlement was enough and she cashed the check in 2015.

#4: Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn – $1 billion

Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn co-founded Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts which are luxury hotels and casinos in Vegas and Atlantic City. The couple were married twice, but their second divorce in 2010 was the biggest one. Elaine received $1 billion in the divorce settlement, but there is currently a lawsuit to have that revised.

Steve was accused in January 2018 of sexual misconduct by multiple people. Steve has denied the allegations and has accused Nancy of starting the rumors because of the current lawsuit.

#3: Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radic – $1.2 billion

Bernie Ecclestone is a Formula One racing tycoon and is known to be one of the richest men in the United Kingdom.

He was married to model Slavica Radic for 23 years before the two went their separate ways in 2009. A $1.2 billion settlement was reached but because of complicated court reasons, Slavica gives him $100 million a year from a trust.

#2: Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv – $1.7 billion

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was married to journalist Ann Torv for 32 years before their divorce in 1999.

The two had an amicable divorce settlement with Ann receiving $1.7 billion. But the two moved on quickly, with Rupert remarrying 17 days after the divorce was finalized and Ann remarrying just six months after the two split.

#1: Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Wildenstein – $3.8 billion

Alec Wildenstein, a world-renowned art dealer and racehorse owner, filed for divorce in 1997 from his wife of 19 years, Jocelyn Wildenstein.

Their divorce proceedings were the center of a lot of media coverage because of the couple’s lavish lifestyles and extravagant spending. Jocelyn ended up getting $3.8 billion, but she ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2018, proving that money doesn’t last forever.

Another expensive divorce actually has ties to Charlotte. Charlotte Hornets owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan has the 14th most expensive divorce! Michael and his ex-wife Juanita Jordan reached a $168 million divorce settlement in 2006.

No matter how big the settlement, we know that divorce can be a hard time for both sides. The Law Office of Thomas Bumgardner will keep you and your family’s best interests at heart while you go through the legal process.

Call us to schedule a free consultation at (704) 870-4779. We are here to help you.

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