Divorces are known for being expensive, particularly if one of the people involved has a substantial amount of money. Many of the top celebrity divorces cost millions (if not billions) of dollars. Which celebrity splits resulted in the highest divorce settlements?
Researchers at WyomingLLCAttorney.com looked at available data on divorces to determine which divorces throughout history had the largest costs. The numbers are adjusted for inflation. Keep reading to see which divorces came out on top!
Update: Melinda Gates reportedly made a significant sum in her divorce settlement with Bill Gates; that figure was estimated at $70+ billion, though the details were never made public even after it was finalized in 2021. Thus, it's not included in the graphic. If it were included, the Gates divorce would have topped the list.
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The Most Expensive Divorces in History
The most expensive divorce in history was between Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and Mackenzie Scott. The couple divorced in 2019 with a $38 billion settlement, making it the biggest divorce settlement ever recorded. Adjusted for inflation in 2023 dollars, this is about $44 billion. As of April 2023, Jeff Bezos was worth $125 billion. Mackenzie Scott, who was one of Amazon’s first employees, has a net worth of $27 billion and owns about 4% of Amazon. This makes her one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.
Next on the list is the divorce of Alec Wildenstein (businessman and racehorse owner) and Jocelyn Wildenstein (socialite). Their divorce settlement in 1999 was $3.8 billion, which is nearly $7 billion in today’s dollars. While Alec is well-known for his racehorses, Jocelyn is perhaps more known for her many rounds of plastic surgery. Her extensive surgeries and catlike appearance have garnered her the nickname of “Catwoman” in the press.
The third divorce on the list is Adnan Khashoggi and Soraya Khashoggi. They divorced in 1980 with a settlement of around $874 million, which would be $3.2 billion today. Adnan was a Saudi businessman who was well-known for his lavish lifestyle. He was also notable for being a middleman in the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s.
Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from Anna Murdoch Mann in 1999 comes in fourth, with a $1.7 billion settlement (more than $3 billion in today’s dollars). Rupert Murdoch is best known as the founder of media company News Corp., which owns hundreds of local and international publishing outlets around the world. Some of these outlets include The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, The Sun in the United Kingdom, and HarperCollins.
The fifth divorce on the list is Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. In addition to their $2.7 billion settlement in 2022, West has to pay $200,000 per month in child support. Kim Kardashian is best known as a reality TV show star and entrepreneur, while Kanye West is a record-setting musician. Together, they have four children.
Coming in at number six are Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Ecclestone. Their 2009 divorce settlement was $1.2 billion, which is about $1.6 billion adjusted for inflation. Bernie Ecclestone is a business magnate best known for being the former CEO of the Formula One Group.
The seventh most expensive divorce settlement in history is Bill Gross and Sue Gross in 2017. The settlement was $1.3 billion, which is just less than $1.6 billion today. Bill Gross is known for founding Pacific Investment Management Co., also known as PIMCO.
At number eight on the list are Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn. They both co-founded popular hotel-casinos under the Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts names. They divorced in 2010 with a settlement of $1 billion ($1.3 billion in today’s dollars).
The ninth most expensive divorce was the 2012 divorce of Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall. The divorce settlement was $974 million, which amounts to $1.2 billion adjusted for inflation. Harold Hamm is an oil and gas entrepreneur.
Finishing out the list of top 10 most expensive divorces are champion golf player Tiger Woods and model Elin Nordegren. Their 2010 divorce settlement was $710 million ($979 million adjusted for inflation).
While some of the divorces on the list are estimated settlements, there is no denying that divorces can be very expensive. Many celebrities and business professionals who are worth millions or billions of dollars set up safeguards when they get married to protect their assets in case of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements and self-settled trusts are popular options for those looking to protect their assets.
The World’s Biggest Divorces
|Couple||Year||Divorce Amount||Settlement Amount (Adjusted for Inflation)||Notes|
|Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Scott||2019||$38,000,000,000||$44,715,849,751||Jeff Bezos is a businessman known for being the founder of Amazon.|
|Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Wildenstein||1999||$3,800,000,000||$6,861,896,758||Alec Wildenstein was a businessman, art dealer, and racehorse owner.|
|Adnan Khashoggi and Soraya Khashoggi||1980||$874,000,000||$3,190,948,543||Adnan Khashoggi was a wealthy businessman and arms dealer.|
|Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch Mann||1999||$1,700,000,000||$3,069,795,918||Rupert Murdoch owns media conglomerate News Corp.|
|Kim Kardashian and Kanye West||2022||$2,700,000,000||$2,775,513,830||Kim Kardashian is a television personality, and Kanye West is a recording artist. The divorce settlement also includes $200,000 per month child support paid by West.|
|Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Ecclestone||2009||$1,200,000,000||$1,682,730,717||Bernie Ecclestone is a business magnate who was the former chief executive of the Formula One Group.|
|Bill Gross and Sue Gross||2017||$1,300,000,000||$1,595,512,402||Bill Gross is an investor known for founding Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO).|
|Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn||2010||$1,000,000,000||$1,379,645,595||Steve and Elaine Wynn co-founded the Mirage Resorts and Wynn Resorts.|
|Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall||2012||$974,800,000||$1,277,293,099||Harold Hamm is an oil and gas entrepreneur.|
|Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren||2010||$710,000,000||$979,548,372||Tiger Woods is a championship professional golfer, and Elin Nordegren is a model.|
|Roy E. Disney and Patricia Disney||2007||$600,000,000||$870,561,680||Roy E. Disney was a businessman known for being a senior executive at the Walt Disney Company.|
|Craig McCaw and Wendy McCaw||1997||$460,000,000||$862,220,560||Craig McCaw was a founder of McCaw Cellular (now part of AT&T) and Clearwire Corporation (now part of T-Mobile).|
|Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Haya bint Hussein||2019||$730,000,000||$859,015,008||Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai, and Haya bint Hussein is the princess of Jordan.|
|Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva||2014||$604,000,000||$767,552,716||Dmitry Rybolovlev is a Russian businessman.|
|Robert L. Johnson and Sheila Johnson||2001||$400,000,000||$679,864,406||Robert L. Johnson is the co-founder of media company BET.|
|Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore Gibson||2006||$425,000,000||$634,211,309||Mel Gibson is an Academy Award-winning actor and director.|
|Roman Abramovich and Irina Abramovich||2007||$300,000,000||$435,280,840||Roman Abramovich is a Russian oligarch and politician.|
|Charles Edgar Fipke and Marlene Fipke||2000||$200,000,000||$349,407,665||Charles Edgar Fipke is a geologist who discovered the existence of diamonds in Canada's Northwest Territories.|
|Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey||1994||$150,000,000||$304,493,927||Neil Diamond is a best-selling singer and songwriter.|
|Michael Polsky and Maya Polsky||2007||$184,000,000||$266,972,248||Michael Polsky is the founder and CEO of Invenergy.|
|Michael Jordan and Juanita Jordan||2006||$168,000,000||$250,700,000||Michael Jordan is a former NBA player and regarded to be the best basketball player of all time.|
|Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving||1989||$100,000,000||$242,612,903||Steven Spielberg is an award-winning director, and Amy Irving is an award-winning actor.|
|Boris Berezovsky and Galina Besharova||2010||$160,000,000||$220,743,295||Boris Berezovsky was a Russian business oligarch.|
|Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison||2004||$118,000,000||$187,925,463||Harrison Ford is an actor, and Melissa Mathison is a screenwriter.|
|Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt||2011||$130,000,000||$173,865,803||Frank McCourt is an executive and chairman of McCourt Global, and Jamie McCourt is the former U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco.|
|Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva||1994||$80,000,000||$162,396,761||Kevin Costner is an award-winning actor, producer, and director.|
|Greg Norman and Laura Andrassy||2007||$103,000,000||$149,446,421||Greg Norman is the CEO of the Greg Norman Company and a former professional golfer.|
|Kenny Rogers and Marianne Rogers||1993||$60,000,000||$124,916,262||Kenny Rogers was a singer, songwriter, and actor.|
|Dr. Dre and Nicole Young||2021||$100,000,000||$111,023,360||Dr. Dre is a rapper and record producer known for founding Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.|
|Madonna and Guy Ritchie||2008||$75,000,000||$104,796,496||Madonna is a singer, songwriter, and actor, and Guy Ritchie is a director, producer, and screenwriter.|
|Aga Khan IV and Inaara Aga Khan||2011||$78,000,000||$104,319,482||Aga Khan IV is the current imam of the Nizari Ismaili Muslims.|
|Khoo Kay Peng and Pauline Chai||2017||$80,000,000||$98,185,378||Khoo Kay Peng is the owner of MUI Group.|
|James Cameron and Linda Hamilton||1999||$50,000,000||$90,288,115||James Cameron is an award-winning filmmaker, and Linda Hamilton is an actor.|
|Michael Douglas and Diandra Douglas||1995||$45,000,000||$88,830,708||Michael Douglas is an award-winning actor and producer.|
|Paul McCartney and Heather Mills||2008||$48,600,000||$67,908,129||Paul McCartney is a musician and one of the founders of The Beatles.|
|Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey||2008||$45,700,000||$67,908,129||Phil Collins is a musician known for being the lead singer and drummer of Genesis.|
|Ted Danson and Casey Coats||1993||$30,000,000||$62,458,131||Ted Danson is an award-winning actor.|
|Johnny Carson and Joanna Holland||1985||$20,000,000||$55,918,215||Johnny Carson was an award-winning television host and comedian.|
|Ivana Trump||1991||$25,000,000||$55,220,264||Donald Trump is a business and media personality and former president, and Ivana Trump was a businesswoman, model, and socialite.|
|Kelsey Grammer and Camille Grammer||2011||$30,000,000||$40,122,877||Kelsey Grammer is an award-winning actor, and Camille Grammer is an actor, model, and television personality.|
|Lionel Richie and Diane Richie||2004||$20,000,000||$31,851,773||Lionel Richie is a singer, songwriter, and record producer.|
|Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall||1999||$15,000,000 to $25,000,000||$27,086,434 to $45,144,057||Mick Jagger is a musician known for being the lead vocalist of The Rolling Stones, and Jerry Hall is a model and actress.|
|Johnny Depp and Amber Heard||2016||$7,000,000||$8,774,244||Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are both actors. Heard said she plans to donate the full amount of the settlement to charity.|
|Slash and Perla Farrar||2014||$6,600,000||$8,387,165||Slash is a musician known for being the guitarist of Guns N' Roses. The settlement also includes $100,000 per month spousal support and $39,000 per month child support.|