What is the value of a marriage? When all is said and done, how do you tally the intangibles that make up everyday life? For the sake of argument, let�s throw some numbers out there. A goodnight kiss: $10. Breaking from work to drive your child to the emergency room: $250, plus wages that would have otherwise been paid. Dinner night after night, factoring in labor: cost untold. Yet in a divorce, these things get boiled down into monetary values by necessity.
10. Sumner and Phyllis Redstone – $100 million
Nice while you have it, but watch out for the big “D” money-sucking bogie. In a marriage that lasted 52 years, Sumner and Phyllis Redstone divorced. the majority owner and chairman of National Amusements, which owns CBS, Viacom and MTV Networks. The marriage dated back to less-complicated legal and financial times and there was no prenuptial agreement in place.
Although the final amount was never officially made public, the Los Angeles Times reported that Phyllis received only $100 million, citing a source close to the family. Following the 1999 divorce, Redstone eventually remarried Paula Fortunato, another marriage that ended in divorce. This time, however, a prenuptial agreement awarded Ms. Fortunato $5 million, stipulating that she would receive $1 million for every year of marriage.
9. Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy – $103 million
Greg Norman’s ex-wife, former flight attendant Laura Andrassy, received over 150-million [Australian] dollars in her settlement. Andrassy married Norman in July 1981 after meeting him on a flight. Norman called off the marriage during a phone call to his wife in early 2006 while she was in Italy on holiday with their daughter.
8. Michael and Maya Polsky – $184 million
In 2003, Maya Polsky, wife of Michael Polsky, filed for divorce and wound up settling for $184 million. Polsky, the founder, president and CEO of Invenergy LLC had an estimated $368 million in cash and assets with his wife prior to the divorce, and she got half of it.
The couple, which married in 1975 in the Ukraine, moved to the US in 1976 with little assets and only $500 in cash. Polsky made his fortune by starting various energy companies, including SkyGen Energy (which he sold in 2000 for $450 million) and Invenergy, which is a Chicago-based wind energy company.
7. Roman and Irina Abramovich – $300 million
In what had the potential to be the most expensive divorce settlement of all-time, Roman Abramovich�s divorce from Irina Abramovich only ended up costing the Russian billionaire $300 million. At the time (2007) Roman was listed by Forbes as the 16th richest man in the world, with assets valued at $18.7 billion.
Assets are reported to have included cash, mansions in Britain and Moscow, a yacht and a private plane. Reports from the time note that Irina could have gotten more from Roman, citing a 50/50 split of wealth under Russian law, but she had not explicitly tried to get a larger chunk of his holdings.
6. Robert and Sheila Johnson – $400 million
Robert Johnson, the co-founder of BET and America�s first African-American billionaire, also has one of the biggest divorce settlements in history. After a marriage of over 30 years, the couple split up in 2000 and Sheila received an estimated $400 million in the settlement. Both have continued their business dealings, owning majority stakes in professional men�s and women�s basketball teams. In 2005, Sheila married William T. Newman Jr., the judge who presided over her original divorce case.
5. Wendy and Craig McCaw – $460 million
McCaw�s fortune began when he turned the failing television cable service he inherited to a successful business. He eventually sold the it for $755 million. A visionary, he acquired cell phone licenses as early as 1981, which he was eventually able to sell to AT&T for $12 billion. He met his future wife before he made his billions when she tutored him at Stanford University. Their marriage lasted from 1974 until 1995. The divorce settlement saw Wendy receive most of her $460 million settlement in Nextel stock, which eventually allowed her to purchase the Santa-Barbara News-Press from the New York Times. When the settlement was finalized, it put her on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, but she soon dropped off after a short run.
4. Adan and Soraya Khashoggi – $874 million
Adan Khashoggi made his early money as an international arms dealer for the Saudi royal family. He than started his own company Triad, which owned and managed banks, hotels, and real estate across the globe. He married Soraya in 1961, and for almost two decades Kasshoggi held the record for the most expensive divorce settlement in history. Both enjoyed living lavish lifestyles including thrilling affairs. Although they filed for divorce in 1974, and 1979 there was still an active lawsuit for $2.54 billion, in 1982 the couple agreed to a settlement that landed British-born Soraya (originally Sandra Daly) $874 million.
3. Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone – $1-1.2 billion (estimated)
The 2009 divorce between billionarie Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Slavica was initially thought to be the most expensive in history � in the range of $4 billion. But the final settlement is estimated by various reports to be in the range of $1 billion. The settlement has not been made public, but experts believe the latter number is more realistic.
2. Rupert and Anna Murdoch – $ 1.7 billion
Rupert Murdoch is one of the richest men in the world. He made his fortune by inheriting his father�s Australian newspaper in 1952 and developing it into a worldwide media empire News Corporation. He married Anna in the 60�s and they had three children together. In 1999 they divorced and Rupert agreed to give Anna $1.7 billion mostly in assets, although she was removed from the News Corp board. Seventeen days after the divorce was finalized Rupert married his younger employee Wendi Deng.
1. Frederick and Vera Chiluba – $2.5 billion
The 33 year marriage between the former President of Zambia, Frederick Chiluba and his wife Vera ended in 2000. Ex-wife Vera is asking for a settlement of $2.5 billion (more than three quarters of the county�s Gross Domestic Product) in addition to a share of their concrete assets including six houses and a farm, she is also demanding over 400 cows, sheep, and goats. Since it is unknown exactly how much the ex-president is worth or how he was able to acquire the money this case has not yet been settled and Vera is living off government assistance. Really? Makes a good story doesn’t it…
Zambian court threw out a proposed $2.5 billion divorce settlement by the ex-wife of former President Frederick Chiluba, news reports said Thursday. The High Court rejected Vera Chiluba’s proposed settlement because it said her husband was not legally divorced from his first wife at the time of their marriage. It was however reported that the Zambian government did offer to provide financial assistance to the divorced wife of former president Frederick Chiluba. Vera Chiluba was offered the money and instructed by the government to cancel an auction of her personal belongings, the Times of Zambia reported. She said she planned to hold the auction because her former husband had frozen her accounts and taken away her homes.
Pending: Dmitry and Yelena Rybolovlev
In November 2010, lawyers acting for Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is fighting what could end up being the biggest divorce settlement in history, cautioned reporters in Switzerland not to cover the case, warning that they may breach strict local privacy laws. Rybolovlev’s wife, Yelena, went for a claim of $6 billion from the man known as the “fertilizer king” for a fortune amassed in potash mining that made him the world’s 79th richest person.
The 10th richest Russian’s assets include an impressive art collection with paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Monet, a $109.39million motor yacht called “The MY Anna” and a $100 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida that was originally owned by Donald Trump. Mrs. Rybolovlev’s claim will be close to $5.77 billion, or half the wealth which her husband earned since their marriage in 1987.