25 of the most expensive divorces of all time

All is fair in love and war, and 2022 was a year filled with celebrity breakups. Stacker highlights 25 of the most expensive divorces of all time, based on our independent research.

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Madonna and Guy Richie attend event

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They say marriage is sacred, but all bets are off in divorce, and nowhere are the stakes higher than among the über-wealthy. Sure, in the beginning, it's all overpriced roses and fancy vacations, but once Cupid's arrow is gone, even the holiest of matrimonies can become the messiest legal battles. Disputes are often compounded in court, especially if an ordeal takes center stage in an ongoing media circus. By the time the dust settles, the breadwinning party is out millions, sometimes billions.

Since all is indeed fair in love and war, and 2022 was a year filled with celebrity splits—Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, Tia Mowry and Cory Hardrict, and Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin, among other breakups—Stacker is highlighting 25 of the most expensive divorces of all time, based on our independent research. These explosive fallouts made front-page news and might one day pop up in history books. Some of these ex-couples you already know, and others might have flown under your radar.

Continue reading more about 25 of the priciest celebrity divorces that rocked Hollywood.

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Kenny Rogers and Marianne Gordon

Kenny Rogers and Marianne Gordon attend event

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- Estimated amount: $60 million
- Year married: 1977
- Year divorced: 1993
- Number of children: 1

Five-times married country star Kenny Rogers held no ill will toward ex-wife Marianne Gordon when their divorce ended in a $60 million settlement. The two met when Rogers was in the band First Edition and $60,000 in debt. Despite their financial struggles, Gordon stood by her man and supported him as he pursued a solo career. Soon enough, Rogers rocketed to wealth through hit singles and successful chicken franchises. He attributes the end of the marriage to the fact that Gordon stayed home to take care of their newborn son while he went on tour, causing their lifestyles to drift apart.

Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva

Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva attend event

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- Estimated amount: $80 million
- Year married: 1978
- Year divorced: 1994
- Number of children: 3

It was love at first sight when Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva met as college students at the Delta Chi fraternity house in 1975, marrying three years later. However, Costner's subsequent success as a film star put continuous friction on the marriage, causing rifts as early as 1987. By 1994, it was all over. Costner walked away with his movie career. Cindy walked away with $80 million.

Dr. Khoo Kay Peng and Pauline Chai

Hand signing document with two gold rings

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- Estimated amount: $80 million
- Year married: 1970
- Year divorced: 2012
- Number of children: 3

She was a former Malaysian beauty queen with an obsessive shoe-collecting habit. He was a Chinese businessman who made a fortune on Laura Ashley and allegedly spent up to four hours on the toilet at a time. Suffice it to say, the divorce between Dr. Khoo Kay Peng and Pauline Chai was epic, with a hefty price tag to show for it.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie

Madonna and Guy Richie attend event

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/GettyImages

- Estimated amount: $76-$92 million
- Year married: 2000
- Year divorced: 2008
- Number of children: 2

Most of the high-profile divorce cases on this list end with the husbands paying settlements. This wasn't the outcome for Madonna, whose decadeslong career as a global pop star made her the breadwinner in her marriage to director Guy Ritchie. Given that both individuals had a penchant for absolute control, the marriage was seemingly doomed from the start. The two reportedly argued over religion, careers, adoption, and whether they wanted blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. A widely publicized divorce inevitably followed, as did an intense, prolonged custody battle over their son Rocco.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren pose at event

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- Estimated amount: $100 million
- Year married: 2004
- Year divorced: 2010
- Number of children: 2

Few divorces are as legendary as that between pro golfer Tiger Woods and model Elin Nordegren. Their five-year marriage came crashing to a halt after a physical altercation in 2009, prompting Woods to flee the home and accidentally crash his SUV into a fire hydrant after Nordegren discovered he had been anything but faithful. The prenup was torn to shreds, and she walked away with $100 million, or $20 million for each year they were together.

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Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving

Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving attend event

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- Estimated amount: $100 million
- Year married: 1985
- Year divorced: 1989
- Number of children: 1

Given his indisputable success as a director, producer, and businessman, one might never imagine Steven Spielberg signing a prenuptial agreement written on a napkin. Yet that's exactly what he did before marrying actress Amy Irving in 1985. Irving would later argue in court that she didn't have a lawyer present when signing the impromptu prenup, which ended up putting a whopping $100 million settlement in her hands, half of Spielberg's estate at the time.

Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy

Greg Norman of Australia celebrates with his wife Laura after winning the British Open

David Cannon // Getty Images

- Estimated amount: $103 million
- Year married: 1981
- Year divorced: 2007
- Number of children: 2

Greg Norman was married to Laura Andrassy for 25 years until she caught him cheating with a woman named Kirsten Kutner. As a result, Norman and Andrassy divorced, with the Australian pro golfer coughing up $103 million in the settlement. However, that didn't mean an end to the drama. Years later, Norman ended up marrying Kutner, further aggravating his ex-wife.

Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison

Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison attend event

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- Estimated amount: $118 million
- Year married: 1983
- Year divorced: 2004
- Number of children: 2

What began as a mid-life crisis ended in a costly divorce for movie star Harrison Ford. Citing "irreconcilable differences," he and screenwriter Melissa Mathison ended their supposedly rock-solid marriage in 2004. Rumor has it Ford had gone on an epic drinking and strip club tour that included stops in Kansas.

Frank McCourt and Jamie Luskin

Frank McCourt and Jamie Luskin hold Dodgers jerseys at a press conference

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- Estimated amount: $130 million
- Year married: 1979
- Year divorced: 2011
- Number of children: 4

Touted as the costliest divorce in California history, the split between Frank and Jamie McCourt was about far more than just money. As co-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the McCourts engaged in a vicious battle over their individual stakes in the franchise. Wild accusations were thrown both ways, and the press ate every word. Eventually, Jamie relinquished her claim to ownership for a cool $130 million. It's estimated that over $34 million in legal fees were racked up throughout the proceedings.

Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey

Neil and Marcia Diamond attend event

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- Estimated amount: $150 million
- Year married: 1969
- Year divorced: 1995
- Number of children: 2

Neil Diamond might have been singing about "Sweet Caroline," but it was a girl named Marcia Murphey who stole his heart in 1969. Their marriage lasted 26 years and yielded two sons before the couple called it quits in 1995. Thanks to an impressive catalog of popular songs, Diamond was wealthy enough to pay out $150 million in the divorce, an exceptionally high sum for its time. Why was the singer feeling so generous? He would later claim that guilt was the primary motivating factor.

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Boris Berezovsky and Galina Besharova

Boris Berezovsky walking into court in London

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- Estimated amount: $160 million
- Year married: 1991
- Year divorced: 2010
- Number of children: 2

Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky and his ex-wife Galina Besharova were separated for 16 years before making it official in 2010. The reason? Besharova had grown too annoyed with everyone referring to Berezovsky's girlfriend as his wife. The divorce itself was supposedly granted in just 45 seconds, though the settlement details took much longer to hash out. Ultimately, Besharova walked away with $160 million, possibly the largest settlement in Britain's history.

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy sit together a press conference

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- Estimated amount: $168 million
- Year married: 1989
- Year divorced: 2006
- Number of children: 3

Basketball legend Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoy had been married for 13 years and had three children when they first decided to divorce in 2002. However, the couple reconciled soon after, with the marriage lasting another four years before officially falling apart in 2006. The decision was reportedly mutual, and Jordan's estimated payout of $168 million was the largest celebrity divorce settlement of its time.

Michael and Maya Polsky

Michael Polsky attends a panel discussion

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- Estimated amount: $184 million
- Year married: 1975
- Year divorced: 2007
- Number of children: 2

According to court records, Ukrainian couple Michael and Maya Polsky arrived in the United States in 1976 with four suitcases and $500 in cash. A few years later, Michael achieved massive wealth in the energy industry, making him a multimillionaire. During their divorce proceedings, which lasted years, Maya argued that as someone who provided Michael with "love, support, advice, and counsel," she was integral to his accumulated wealth. The court eventually agreed, awarding her $184 million for her troubles.

Charles and Marlene Fipke

Judge’s gavel with two wedding rings

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- Estimated amount: $200 million
- Year married: 1966
- Year divorced: 2000
- Number of children: 5

They say diamonds last forever. Marriages? Not so much. Famed Canadian diamond prospector Charles "Chuck" Fipke, who discovered one of the world's biggest diamond mines and reaped a subsequent fortune, split from his wife, Marlene, after over 30 years of marriage. Marlene—who'd accompanied Chuck on expeditions, dried core samples in the kitchen, and even handled the accounting—was granted a controlling interest in her husband's diamond company.

Roman Abramovich and Irina Malandina

Roman Abramovich and wife Irina applauds at Chelsea soccer game

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- Estimated amount: $300 million
- Year married: 1991
- Year divorced: 2007
- Number of children: 5

The rule goes that in the case of a divorce with no prenuptial agreement, the spouse is entitled to half of the breadwinner's earnings. That turned out to be bad news for Roman Abramovich, who'd amassed his entire $10.2 billion fortune virtually during his 16-year marriage to former stewardess Irina Malandina. Thankfully for him, Malandina wasn't feeling particularly aggressive. She agreed to a quick settlement of $300 million to get the whole thing over with.

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Robert Johnson and Sheila Crump

Bob and Sheila Johnson at benefit

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- Estimated amount: $400 million
- Year married: 1969
- Year divorced: 2002
- Number of children: 2

They say people in relationships should never work together, but Robert Johnson and Sheila Crump would probably be much less wealthy had they heeded such advice. The married couple co-founded BET in 1980 and took in a collective fortune. However, time-tested adages prevailed and things turned ugly in the '90s when Robert fired his wife from her own company. Meanwhile, rumors of Robert's infidelity persisted. He would end up selling BET for $3 billion to Viacom in 2001 and divorcing his wife soon after.

Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore

Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore arrive at academy awards

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- Estimated amount: $425 million
- Year married: 1980
- Year divorced: 2011
- Number of children: 7

He might be a devout Catholic with a self-produced film to show for it, but even Mel Gibson struggled to maintain his marital vows. After seven children and 26 years of marriage, Gibson and his wife, Robyn Moore, separated in 2006 on the heels of Gibson's infamous Malibu drunk driving incident.

Three years later, Moore came across tabloid photos of her famous husband with another woman and officially filed for divorce. Gibson would eventually settle for an estimated $425 million, considered the largest payout in Hollywood history.

Craig McCaw and Wendy Petrak

Portait of Craig McCaw

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- Estimated amount: $460 million
- Year married: 1974
- Year divorced: 1997
- Number of children: 0

The divorce proceedings were so vast in scope between entrepreneurs Craig McCaw and Wendy Petrak that the law firm she hired claimed it was their second- or third-largest case ever, coming right behind the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Apparently, there were enough documents uncovered during litigation to fill a warehouse. Ultimately, Wendy walked with $460 million (most of it in Nextel stock) and the private jet.

Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev

Dmitri Rybolovlev with wife Elena at event

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- Estimated amount: $604 million
- Year married: 1985
- Year divorced: 2015
- Number of children: 2

Dmitry Rybolovlev made a fortune in potassium, among other things, and began to enjoy his newfound lifestyle by reportedly attending opulent yacht parties filled with oligarchs and young women. Rybolovlev's wife, Elena, wasn't amused; she petitioned for divorce in 2008. Her actions kicked off a prolonged series of litigations, which resulted in a spectacular $4.5 billion settlement in 2014. However, that amount was quickly and successfully appealed by Dmitry and then subsequently reduced.

Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi

Adnan Khashoggi with wife Soraya at UNESCO Gala

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- Estimated amount: $874 million
- Year married: 1961
- Year divorced: 1982
- Number of children: 5

Before she was the wife of a Saudi Arabian arms-dealing billionaire, her name was Sandra Daly. The illegitimate daughter of a British waitress, Daly married Adnan Khashoggi, converted to Islam, changed her name to Soraya, and began living a life of which she could have only dreamed. Both her beauty and spending habits were the stuff of legend, and she counts Warren Beatty among her former lovers. Despite winning $874 million in a 1984 settlement (reportedly the biggest payout of its time), Soraya Khashoggi was living the modest life of a flower shop owner by the mid-aughts.

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Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall

Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall at red carpet event

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- Estimated amount: $974.8 million
- Year married: 1988
- Year divorced: 2015
- Number of children: 2

After a long separation and contentious divorce battle, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm handed his wife, Sue Ann, a personal check for $975 million. Worried it would interfere with her current appeal, Arnall's initial response was a firm rejection. After giving it some more thought, however, she ended up depositing the check and settling the divorce. As for Hamm, he was probably relieved, given his estimated worth of over $8 billion at the time (a figure that's only increased since).

Steve Wynn and Elaine Pascal

Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn attend event

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- Estimated amount: $1 billion
- Year married: 1963
- Year divorced: 2010
- Number of children: 2

Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn and wife Elaine first divorced in the mid-'80s, only to remarry in 1991 and then divorce again in 2010. The second time around was far more brutal, with the couple battling fiercely over shares of Wynn Resorts Ltd. Pascal eventually secured a 9.4% stake in the company but later sued her husband because he was blocking her from controlling her own shares.

Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radić

Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Slavica attend event

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- Estimated amount: $1.2 billion
- Year married: 1985
- Year divorced: 2009
- Number of children: 2

The divorce between Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone and his discernibly tall, model wife, Slavica Radić, was a tricky one. It seemed that Ecclestone was initially ordered to pay over $1 billion to Radić per the settlement agreement. However, as it turned out, much of the wealth was in trust funds under Radić's name, so it was Radić who began paying Ecclestone up to $100 million a year.

Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv

Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch attend event

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- Estimated amount: $1.7 billion
- Year married: 1967
- Year divorced: 1999
- Number of children: 3

While frequently pointed to as the second-costliest divorce of all time, at least one journalist would later claim that the settlement between media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and his second wife, Anna Torv, was far less outlandish than reports suggest. However, to this day, the legacy of the $1.7 billion payout persists.

Regardless of specifics, it's safe to say she was handsomely rewarded for her time with Murdoch, whom she described as "hard, ruthless, and determined." In keeping with his reputation, Murdoch allegedly walked out on the marriage in 1999.

Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein

Jocelyn Wildenstein poses on an elaborate couch in front of a painting in a gilded frame.

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- Estimated amount: $3.8 billion
- Year married: 1978
- Year divorced: 1999
- Number of children: 2

If one ever wonders how the rich and famous spend all their money, look no further than the lifestyle of Jocelyn Périsset Wildenstein. That was just one of the many aspects that made her 1999 divorce from billionaire Alec Wildenstein pure catnip for the media. The reported tales of $350,000 dresses and tigers in glass caves were equally compelling. One other huge thing the press latched on to? That gargantuan $3.8 billion settlement, of course, considered the largest in world history.

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