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Ultimatums, scandals and betrayal: 12 most expensive American celebrity divorces

Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage. What other high-profile and expensive celebrity divorces were in history? Insider.

Photo: Shutterstock

Bill and Melinda Gates
  • How big a settlement can be: details are not yet known, but it could reach $ 73 billion

According to Bloomberg, Bill Gates is the fourth richest person in the world, with a fortune of $ 146 billion.The couple met when they both worked at Microsoft in 1987 and since then they have been involved in a number of charitable projects, including joint fund. Their total charitable foundation has a $ 49,8 billion trust fund, according to Forbes.

What exactly will happen to their finances, not yet known. But the Gates family lives in Washington, one of nine states whose residents can split the family property 50/50. While not required, it suggests Melinda Gates could walk away with up to $ 73 billion in assets. Gates' three children each will inherit $ 10 million, with the rest of the couple's fortune going to charity.

The couple had a divorce agreement, not a prenuptial agreement. A separation agreement is a non-legal document that lists the rights and obligations of a couple, including child support and custody, and is signed without the involvement of a court.

In the divorce papers, the couple requested that their real estate, personal property and debts be divided according to their separate agreement. Melinda Gates did not ask for support from her spouse, which may indicate the large amount of money she will receive from other assets.

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Something went wrong: On May 3, Bill Gates tweeted the couple's divorce.

“After much thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we made the decision to end our marriage,” Gates wrote. “Over the past 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and created a foundation that works around the world to enable all people to lead healthy and productive lives.”

“We continue to share faith in this mission and continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe that we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives,” the statement said. "We ask for space and privacy for our family."

The divorce papers state that the Gates' marriage is "irrevocably dissolved." Melinda Gates has been listed as the plaintiff and Bill Gates as the defendant, and the trial is set for April 4, 2022.

Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos split after 25 years of marriage, making her the second richest woman in the world at the time.
  • Settlement agreement: $ 38 billion

According to Forbes, Bezos is the richest man in the world, his fortune is estimated at more than $ 177 billion. Bezos's home state before his divorce is Washington, which turned out to be one of nine states whose residents are entitled to a 50/50 division of family property.

The couple finalized their divorce in July 2019, leaving Mackenzie Bezos, now Mackenzie Scott, with a partial stake in Amazon worth about $ 38 billion.She was named the second richest woman in the world at the time. After the divorce, Jeff Bezos was still worth an estimated $ 121 billion. Scott's current fortune is estimated at $ 53 billion, according to Forbes, making her the third richest woman in the world.

According to media reports, the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement.

Something went wrong: in a lengthy tweet, Jeff Bezos announced that the richest couple in the world is peacefully ending their marriage in a quarter of a century. In a statement, Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos shared that their decision was made after "a long period of love research and trial separation."

The two said they would remain friends and family with their four children. However, there was clearly more to the story, as just hours after the couple announced their breakup, the National Enquirer broke the news of the relationship between Jeff Bezos and TV host Lauren Sanchez.

It was alleged that a four-month investigation into his alleged connection with Sanchez was carried out, as well as "obscene messages and erotic selfies" were found, some of which were later released. The Washington Post later reported that Bezos had announced his divorce ahead of time on Twitter to get ahead of the National Enquirer article.

A lengthy investigation was launched into how the photos and texts were leaked, and even if it was a politically motivated attack on Bezos and Amazon. A New York Times report said Sanchez sent them to her brother Michael Sanchez, who then sold them to the National Enquirer. Bezos later claimed that this material was used for extortion.

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Bezos and Sanchez are still dating. Mackenzie Scott married science teacher Dan Jewett in March 2021. They live with her four children.

Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv parted ways after 32 years of marriage in 1999, and Murdoch remarried 17 days later
  • Settlement agreement: $ 1,7 billion

Something went wrong: after 32 years of marriage, the Murdochs announced their separation in 1999. Of the $ 1,7 billion in assets that Rupert gave to Torv, $ 110 million was in cash.

After the divorce, Rupert married just 17 days later to 30-year-old Wendy Deng, whom he met while married to Torv. Murdoch filed for divorce from Dang in June 2013.

“I think Rupert's romance with Wendy Deng was the end of the marriage,” Torv said. “I thought we had a wonderful, happy marriage. This was obviously not the case. "

“He was extremely tough, ruthless and determined to get through it, no matter what I wanted or tried to do to save the marriage. He wasn’t interested in that at all, ”she added.

Mel Gibson and Robin Moore split after nearly 30 years of marriage in 2006
  • Settlement agreement: $ 425 million

Something went wrong: Gibson said the couple split up in 2006 the day after he was arrested in Malibu on a drunk driving case.

Moore filed for divorce in April 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. A month earlier, Gibson was spotted with singer and songwriter Oksana Grigorieva, from whom he had a child in October of that year.

The couple's prenuptial agreement reportedly gave Moore the right to half of everything Gibson earned during their marriage, beginning in 1980. It is estimated that Moore received about $ 425 million. The couple, who have been married for almost 30 years, are raising seven children.

Robert Johnson and Sheila Crump ended their marriage after 33 years
  • Settlement agreement: $ 400 million

Something went wrong: Robert Johnson and Sheila Crump made their fortune in 33 years of marriage from 1969 to 2002 at BET, which Robert Johnson founded in 1980. According to Fortune, BET was sold to Viacom for $ 3 billion.

Crump said in 2004 that Robert had a three-year romance and at least one more besides that.

After the divorce, Crump married the Chief Justice of the Arlington District Court, William Newman, who presided over her divorce.

Michael Jordan and Juanita Vanoi announced divorce in 2016 after trying to mend a marriage
  • Settlement agreement: $ 168 million

Something went wrong: Michael married Juanita Vanoi during his second season with the Chicago Bulls in 1989 at a small wedding in Las Vegas, NV.

Wanoi filed for divorce in 2002, but the couple decided to try to mend their relationship instead. At the end of 2016, the Jordans decided to part ways forever after 17 years of marriage. According to People, the divorce came as a surprise to some friends, as they were spotted spending time together a few days earlier, attending their son's basketball game.

The couple's lawyers issued a statement saying they had "mutually and peacefully" divorced the marriage.

Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphy split after 25 years of marriage

Something went wrong: singer Neil Diamond and then-wife Murphy divorced in March 1995 after 25 years of marriage. Forbes reported that Diamond's assets of approximately $ 300 million were divided and Murphy received half.

In 1996, Diamond said he blamed himself a lot for the deteriorating relationship.

On the subject: What you need to know about divorce in the United States

“I take on a lot of responsibility for what went wrong, but I was amazed at how many friends dumped me,” he said.

Years later, Diamond said Murphy received less than $ 150 million.

“She had enough to live the rest of her life,” he said.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren announced divorce in 2010 after six years of marriage
  • Settlement agreement: $ 110 million

Something went wrong: they announced their divorce in 2010 after six years of marriage.

According to the New York Daily News, Nordegren received $ 110 million in settlement.

Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving split after four years of marriage
  • Settlement agreement: $ 100 million

Something went wrong: A California judge refused to acknowledge the couple's prenuptial agreement, scrawled on a napkin, and awarded Irving $ 100 million after four years of marriage in 1989.

Irving said in 1994 that her husband's ambitious career was best.

“When I married Stephen, I felt like the wife of a politician,” Irving said. “There were certain things expected of me that definitely didn’t apply to me. One of my problems is that I am very honest and direct. And I paid my price. "

Harrison Ford and Melissa Matheson split in 2000 after 17 years of marriage
  • Settlement agreement: from $ 85 to $ 118 million

Something went wrong: Harrison Ford and screenwriter Melissa Matheson have been together for 17 years. They first met on the set of Apocalypse Now in 1979.

The couple broke up in 2000 amid reports that he was dating a younger woman.

“We've been living separately for the past month,” the couple said in a November 2000 statement. "We sincerely hope we can resolve our differences."

They divorced three years later. Matheson died in 2015.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie ended their relationship after being married for just under eight years
  • Settlement agreement: from $ 76 to $ 92 million

Something went wrong: the director and singer announced their divorce in 2008, having been married for just under eight years.

In 2011, Richie spoke about the divorce, saying that he felt like he was in a soap opera, but did not regret his time with the singer. Later, Madonna said that the spark in their relationship had gone out.

The amount of the settlement agreement was at least $ 76 million.

Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva announced divorce after 16 years of marriage
  • Settlement agreement: $ 80 million

Something went wrong: Costner and Silva met at California State University in 1975 and were married two and a half years later. They announced their divorce after 16 years of marriage in 1994.

According to People, Costner allegedly had a "wandering gaze," and Silva was not a fan of his "sex roles," and she issued an ultimatum for him to stop acting or retire from the movie business.

“We have amicably resolved all issues concerning our children and financial affairs,” Costner and Silva said in a statement.

During this time, Costner starred in the hits "Dances with Wolves" and "The Bodyguard".

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