10 Costly Celebrity Divorces
Celebrity relationships and weddings have often been plagued with drama. Not only are these couples glamorous and powerful, but their volatile relationships also tend to end quickly - and sometimes explosively. Here we look at 10 power couples who parted ways - and some partners who parted with a fortune in the process. (If you think divorce is in your future, read Get Through Divorce With Your Finances Intact.)
- Michael Jordan & Juanita Vanoy - $168 Million
So far, basketball legend Michael Jordan has one of the highest divorce payouts on record. Jordan met Juanita Vanoy through a mutual friend at a restaurant in Chicago in 1984. Three years later, he proposed. The couple wed in September of 1989 at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vanoy initially filed for divorce in January of 2002. The couple reconciled, but in 2006 she filed again stating "irreconcilable differences." The divorce was finalized in 2007, and Vanoy received a $168 million payout - about one-third of Jordan's assets at the time.
- Neil Diamond & Marcia Murphey - $150 Million
"Irreconcilable differences" was also what led to the split between singer Neil Diamond and his former wife Marcia Murphey. Diamond, known for hits such as "Sweet Caroline" and "Hello Again," married the television production assistant in 1969, less than a month after his divorce from his first wife. The divorce with Murphey finalized in 1999. Murphy left with $150 million, the highest divorce payout at the time. However, Diamond was widely quoted as saying that his former wife was "worth every penny".
- Steven Spielberg & Amy Irving - $100 million
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actress Amy Irving had a 10-year relationship before they married. The wedding was held November 1985 in Palo Alto, California. It ended in divorce in 1989. The couple had a prenuptial agreement, but the judge departed from the agreement because it was written on a napkin. Irving left the marriage with $100 million - half of Spielberg's fortune. (For more on putting together a proper prenup, read Marriage, Divorce And The Dotted Line.)
- Harrison Ford & Melissa Mathison - $85 Million+
Actor Harrison Ford met screenwriter Melissa Mathison on the set of "Apocalypse Now". He wed the writer of "E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial" in March 1983. The divorce was finalized in 2004. In addition to the millions Mathison received, it was determined that she would split future royalty earnings on films Harrison made during their marriage, such as the "Indiana Jones" series. (What can Indiana Jones teach you about finance? Find out in the Indiana Jones Guide To Getting Ahead.)
- Kevin Costner & Cindy Silva - $80 Million
Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva were college sweethearts. She was pursuing a biological science degree, while he focused on a degree in business administration and developed an interest in an acting career. After a two-and-half year courtship, the couple married in 1978. The marriage ended in divorce 16 years later, following Costner's most successful and profitable period as an actor. Silva got $80 million in the divorce proceedings.
- Madonna & Guy Ritchie - $76 Million
Pop star Madonna and English film star Guy Ritchie met at a dinner party in 1999 thrown by mutual friends Sting and Trudy Styler. They married in 2000. After two children (one biological and one adopted) their marriage fizzled and they filed for divorce in October 2008. Their divorce was finalized in January 2009, and Ritchie was awarded approximately $76 million, leaving Madonna with the better half of her estimated $450 million fortune.
- James Cameron & Linda Hamilton - $50 Million
Film director James Cameron, known for blockbuster movies such as "Avatar" and "Titanic", had directed actress Linda Hamilton in the "Terminator" and "Terminator 2". The relationship between the couple blossomed in the early 1990s. They dated a few years, separated, but then reconciled and married in July 1997. The marriage ended in divorce in 1999. Cameron was ordered to pay Hamilton $50 million in the divorce settlement, but this hardly put him underwater - he reportedly made $100 million just for directing "Titanic".
- Paul McCartney & Heather Mills - $48.6 Million
Paul McCartney of the Beatles met former model Heather Mills at a charity event for her trust in May 1999. They married June of 2002, but the happy union didn't last for long. After two years of bitter court battles, the divorce was finalized in 2008. In a final bit of drama, Mills doused McCartney's lawyer, Fiona Shackleton, with a glass of water, but despite the gaffe, she walked away with $48.6 million.
- Phil Collins & Orianne Cevey - $46.7 Million
English singer Phil Collins met Orianne Cevey on tour in 1994, while she was working as his interpreter. Their 1999 marriage was Collins' third, but the third time wasn't a charm for Collins. The couple's divorced was finalized in August of 2008, with Collins paying Cevey nearly $50 million. All told, according to the Daily Telegraph, Collins' three divorces have cost him $84 million - nearly one-third of his fortune.
- Michael Douglas & Diandra Luker - $45 Million
Actor Michael Douglas, known for classic movies such as "Wall Street" and "Fatal Attraction", met Diandra Luker at a Jimmy Carter inauguration party in 1977. They were married within three months, and Douglas went on to score some of his best and most profitable roles. Following rumors of infidelity and alcohol abuse by Douglas, the couple split in 2000, and Luker was awarded a $45 million. Douglas married Catherine Zeta-Jones that same year.