Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In History

Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In History

Divorce rarely makes economic sense at any income level, but as Woody Allen once said, “The heart wants what it wants.” Here, in reverse order, is a list of the 10 most expensive divorces in legal history (as determined by the estimated size of the settlement). This list is according to Reuters, CNBC and Forbes.

10. Roman and Irina Abramovich, $300 million

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Irina Malandina filed for divorce against Roman Abramovich, a Russian business tycoon, under speculation that he was having an affair. The settlement bestowed on Irina Abramovich in 2007 was reportedly worth less than 2% of her husband’s massive $18.7 billion net worth.

9. Robert and Sheila Johnson, $400 million

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Robert and Sheila Johnson are co-founders of BET. They married in 1969, but after more than 30 years of marriage they split. Robert Johnson became the America’s first African-American billionaire, so when they divorced, Sheila received a large sum of the fortune, $400 million worth.

8. Mel and Robyn Gibson, $425 million

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The biggest celebrity divorce of all-time. Robyn Moore married Mel Gibson in 1980, split from him 26 years later. Gibson reportedly handed over half of his $850 million fortune when he split with his wife Robyn in 2011. The divorce settlement is the largest in Hollywood history.

7. Craig and Wendy McCaw, $460 million

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The Seattle-area businessman and founder of McCaw Cellular, Craig McCaw married Wendy Petrak in 1974, but they split up, in 1998, just a few years after selling the company to AT&T for between $11-$12 billion.

6. Steve Wynn and Elaine Pascal, $740 million

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Steve Wynn, CEO of casino empire Wynn Resorts, married Elaine Pascal in 1963. They divorced in 1986 but remarried again in 1991, ultimately leading to their second divorce in 2010. Wynn lost ownership of about half of his stock in the company in his second divorce with Elaine Wynn in a $750 million agreement, according to reports at the time.

5. Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi, $850 million

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For almost two decades, Saudi billionaire entrepreneur and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi held the record for the most expensive divorce settlement in history. Adnan married 20-year-old Soraya Khashoggi in 1961. The couple filed for divorce in 1974, it took Soraya until 1979 to sue her ex-husband for a cash settlement, estimated at $850 million.

4. Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone, $1.2 billion

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Bernie Ecclestone, the president and CEO of Formula One racing, was married to Slavica Ecclestone, a former model, for 23 years. They have two daughters, Tamara Ecclestone and Petra Ecclestone. The couple filed for divorce in 2009 for an estimated $1 billion to $1.2 billion.

3. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Maria Torv, $1.7 billion

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After a 32-year marriage and three children, Murdoch divorced his second wife of 31 years, Anna, with a $1.7 billion settlement in 1999. He married Wendi shortly after.

. Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng, $1.8 billion

File photo of Rupert Murdoch chairman and CEO of News Corporation arriving with his wife Wendi Deng at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood California
On 25 June 1999, 17 days after divorcing his second wife, Murdoch married Chinese-born Deng Wendi. Thirteen years later, he’s ready to repeat the same process. On 13 June 2013, a News Corporation spokesperson confirmed that Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng in New York City, U.S. According to him, the marriage had been irretrievably broken for more than six months.

1. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein, $3.8 billion

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Alec Wildenstein’s divorce from Jocelyn Wildenstein is considered the most expensive divorce ever in history. Alec was a billionaire French businessman, art dealer and racehorse owner and breeder. He married Jocelyne Périsset on April 30, 1978. They had a daughter, Diane, followed by a son, Alec. Jr. Their divorce proceedings between 1997 and 1999 gained wide media coverage for revelations about the couple’s extravagant spending habits and Jocelyn Wildenstein’s fondness for plastic surgery. According to news reports at the time, Jocelyn received $2.5 billion in the divorce settlement and $100 million every year for 13 years after.

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