These couples would have been better off to opt for the Mexican divorce after the Hollywood wedding. But while getting married in Hollywood will cost a bundle, getting divorced will cost a whole lot more, especially if you are loaded to start with. This list presents ten Hollywood celebrities who worked hard, made huge dollars in their careers – and then got soaked when the “Big D” came knocking. Ouch!
10. Ted Danson and Casey Coates – $30 million
Ted DansonCheers’ bartender Ted Danson married his first wife Casey Coates (10 years his senior) in 1976. A close couple, Danson took a six month off of work to nurse Coates back to health after she suffered a stroke during the birth of their first child. They had a second child together before the 1992 divorce. It is believed that Danson’s unusually close relationship to co-star Whoopi Goldberg while filming Made in America is what ultimately led to the divorce.
9. Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker – $45 million
An Academy Award-winning actor and producer, Michael Douglas has been a favorite of moviegoers for over 20 years. Michael, an alleged sex addict, married Diandra in 1977, when his career in feature films was still burgeoning (he was involved in the production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975).
Apparently fed up with his philandering, the documentary producer, owner of a clothing firm, and mother of grown son Cameron, filed for divorce in 1997. Two years of negotiations later, Michael agreed to pay $45 million (practically a third of the actor/producer’s estimated fortune) to finalize the proceedings and be free to marry Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Michael Douglas’ ex-wife has filed a lawsuit claiming she is entitled to half the money he has earned from new film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Even though Diandra Luker received a $45 million payout from the couple’s divorce in 2000, but she now claims she is entitled to 50 per cent of the earnings Douglas makes from any spin-offs to his previous films. The 65-year-old actor – who has been married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones for 10 years – is said be furious with his former spouse’s suit.
8. Paul McCartney and Heather Mills – $49 million
In 2008 the court ordered McCartney to pay Mills 24.3 million pounds ($48.7 million). The settlement was only a fifth of the sum she had sought, but still gave her the equivalent of about $34,000 for each day of her four-year marriage to the pop icon.
Heather Mills made “exorbitant” claims against ex-husband Paul McCartney and was “less than candid” as a witness, the judge in the celebrity couple’s divorce case said in his written ruling. Mills’s evidence was “not just inconsistent and inaccurate, but also less than candid. Overall she was a less than impressive witness,” wrote the judge in her case.
7. James Cameron and Linda Hamilton – $50 million
James Cameron is the visionary filmmaker who gave the world grand Hollywood spectacles like the first two Terminator movies, in which Linda Hamilton starred, True Lies , and Titanic . The romance between the two reportedly began on the set of T2 in 1991, although they married in July 1997.
But at that time, Titanic was released and Cameron apparently spent more time with one of his stars, Suzy Amis, than with his wife. During their 17-month marriage, which produced a daughter, they were separated for eight months. As part of the settlement Cameron was ordered by the court to hand over half his revenues from Titanic – over $50 million – in 1999.
6. Madonna and Guy Ritchie – $76 million
Here’s a switch – the Guy got the cash! They were introduced by the high profile friends, Sting and his wife, “the Material Girl” quickly realized that she met her match in the form of English filmmaker, they did not waste any time, their son Rocco was born a year later, following traditional wedding ceremony. However, Madonna has been famous for her transformations, so in 2008 she has transformed herself into a single mother of three. According to media sources, Mr. Madonna couldn’t keep up with his Kabala loving, open minded, adoption seeking wife, so when she finally pulled the plus on their 8 year marriage, Guy gracefully accepted back his freedom as well as 76 million dollars in divorce settlement.
5. Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva – $80 million
In 1994 Costner ended his 16-year marriage to restaurateur, college sweet-heart and mother of his three children, Cindy Silva. The two met while studying at California State University at Fullerton, before Costner hit it big. It is reported that Costner’s infidelity on set is what finally lead to the marriage breakdown. Cindy filed for divorced and was granted custody of their kids as well as $80 million in the divorce settlement.
4. Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison – $85 million
The actor and his screen-writer wife were one of the most private couples in Hollywood, and in following this tradition, their divorce wasn’t covered by the media. Actor Harrison Ford and wife Melissa Mathison divorced in 2004 after 18 years of marriage. Mathison received an $85 million settlement as well as a share of all future earnings on movies he made while they were together. This includes royalties and DVD sales of 22 movies including Witness, The Fugitive and the Indiana Jones Trilogy.
3. Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving – $100 million
After 4 years of marriage and one child, actress Amy Irving and well-known director Steven Spielberg called it quits. Even though the couple had signed a prenuptial agreement before marriage Irving contested that at the time of signing she did not have the legal representation required. In the end Spielberg settled with Irving for $100 million. Although Spielberg tried to fight for his assets, the judge ruled that the prenuptial agreement written on a napkin was not legally authorized and there was no legal representation to witness it.
2. Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey – $150 million
Legendary singer Neil Diamond and his second wife Marcia Murphy divorced in 1994 after 33 years of marriage. Diamond has been quoted saying that Marcia “earned every penny” and that “she’s been through thick and thin with [him] and deserves half of [his] fortune.” Although Diamond has not remarried he has been dating Rachel “Rae” Farley, 33, since 1996. He is reported as commenting on his marriage, “she is the most wonderful woman, who stood by me through rough times; she deserves every penny of it”.
1. Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy – $168 million
The legendary basketball player and Chicago bank officer met in 1989, the sparks flew and Michel quickly made Juanita Mrs. Jordan. After 18 years of marriage, three kids and his earned income of 350 million dollars, Juanita was granted a divorce settlement of 168 million dollars making it the largest divorce settlement in celebrity history. In addition to the $168 million, Juanita who’s now romantically linked to a banker 20 years younger than herself, will also get their seven-acre estate in Chicago, as well as custody of their three kids; Jeffrey Michael, Marcus James, and Jasmine Mickael.