Entering into a marriage can be very expensive, with celebrities splashing lots of cash on their wedding days, but some have come to a very costly end, too.
Sadly, not all love stories last, and Kevin Costner is one of the latest stars to finalise his divorce from Christine Baumgartner. He joins the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates and Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, who also went through billion-dollar splits. Join us as we take a look back at some of the most expensive celebrity divorce settlements of all time…
Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner – $1 million + $63,209 per month
Yellowstone actor Kevin Costner and model and handbag designer Christine Baumgartner ended their 18-year marriage in May 2023, and what followed was several disputes about child support and the use of their $145 million Santa Barbara home.
According to TMZ, the 68-year-old actor and his 49-year-old ex agreed on a settlement in September. A court judge declared that the terms of their 2004 prenuptial agreement would be enforced, which initially stated that Christine would receive a $1.5 million payout from Kevin should they divorce.
The court ordered Kevin to pay a monthly child support of $63,209 to Christine, a much lower sum than the $248,000 she had originally requested. He also offered to pay $30,000 per month for a rental home after she vacated their estate. Meanwhile, Christine was ordered to pay $14k of Kevin's divorce attorney fees.
This comes after the Dances With Wolves star's $80 million settlement with his ex-wife Cindy Silva.
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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – $200,000 per month
When Kim Kardashian and Kanye West announced their split in 2021, conversations soon turned into interest surrounding how the pair would manage to split their reported $2.1 billion fortune. In November 2022, it was revealed that neither couple would pay each other spousal support. However, along with joint custody of the pair's four children: North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm, Kanye must pay a whopping $200,000 per month in child support – so the split was not without its costly consequences.
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates – unknown
2021 appears to have been a year for big celebrity divorces, as it was in May that year that Bill Gates and his wife of 27 years Melinda revealed the surprise news that they were seeking a divorce. The Microsoft creator and his wife did not have a prenuptial agreement and shared several of their assets including billion properties, meaning Melinda was possibly on course to receive half of Bill's over $130 billion fortune.
No details have been released regarding how much Melinda did receive in the end, but the divorce petition obtained by People did claim the couple would be dividing their assets. The pair continue to work together as co-chairs of their foundation, which is worth around $40-50 billion.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp – $7 million + lawsuit settlements
The Aquaman actress filed for divorce from The Lone Ranger star in 2016. Amber also obtained a temporary restraining order against Johnny, and alleged that he had been physically abusive to her during their relationship. In August, a settlement was reached in which Amber received $7 million and $50,000 per month in spousal support was arranged, and at the same time, Amber withdrew her request for a domestic violence restraining order. But of course, this was not the end for the pair's very public split.
In November 2020, the pair's troubled relationship was brought back to public attention when the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise actor lost a defamation lawsuit which he brought against The Sun newspaper in the UK for calling him a 'wife-beater'. Then in 2022 the pair's marital woes were again the focus of the courtroom when Johnny's defamation lawsuit (and Amber's countersuit) in the US regarding a Washington Post article Amber wrote about domestic abuse, began.
After appealing the eventual verdict of that case, the couple settled in December 2022 by agreeing Amber would pay a sum of $1 million to Johnny. The actress paid this money to her ex in June 2023.
LA exes: 5 Hollywood couples who divorced
1. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Known by the legendary portmanteau 'Brangelina', the uber A-listers wed in a French chateau in 2014 some nine years after first becoming entwined on the set of 2005 blockbuster Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Things went south soon after with allegations of abuse surfacing in 2016, the same year Angelina filed for divorce. After seven years of legal wrangling light appeared at the tunnel's end, with the MailOnline reporting in July 2023 that the pair had agreed to a mediation which could resolve their dispute.
2. Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson
Ryan and Scarlett married in 2008 in a secretive ceremony on Vancouver Island. Both actors' stars were firmly in the ascendancy but professional success wasn't conducive to conjugal happiness, and their union was annulled just over two years later with Scarlett subsequently revealing the couple hardly saw each other.
3. Russell Brand and Katy Perry
The polysyllabic and polyamorous British actor/comedian/presenter met popstar Katy in 2009 during rehearsals for the MTV Video Music Awards. The following year the pair married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India and all seemed set fair. But with Katy away on her California Dreams tour for most 2011, the couple supposedly determined they had different priorities and Russell filed for divorce - via text message - at the end of that year.
4. Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
The couple divorced in 2013 after it emerged Ashton had been unfaithful on the weekend of their sixth anniversary. In 2015 Ashton remarried, this time to his That '70s Show costar Mila Kunis who was five years his junior - a notable change in dynamic from his relationship with Demi who was 15 years his senior.
5. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
The archetypal whirlwind romance, Tom and Katie got engaged after just seven weeks of dating in 2005. The pair didn't muck about and the following year they both welcomed daughter Suri and got married in a Scientologist ceremony in Italy. The marriage lasted for five and half years before Katie filed for divorce.
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos – $38 billion
In 2019, one year after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was declared the world's richest person, he and his wife of over 25 years announced their divorce. Just as was the case with Bill and Melinda Gates, lots of interest surrounded how the pair would organize their assets and debts. In the end, Jeff and MacKenzie dealt with the issue privately, and MacKenzie was left with a handsome $38 billion share of the fortune.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren – $100 million
The world-famous golfer Tiger Woods' six-year relationship with Elin came to an end in 2010 after it was revealed he'd had affairs with several different women. While some reports initially suggested Elin was awarded over $700 million of Tiger's fortune following their split, in reality it appears she actually settled for $100 million, along with winning the pair's Windermere home and an arrangement for child support.
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison – $85 million+
After 18 years of marriage, Melissa and Harrison amicably filed for a divorce in August 2001. The pair didn't have a prenuptial agreement, which led to them having to agree on a settlement. Melissa was eventually paid $85 million, and also negotiated that she would receive some of the Indiana Jones actor's future earnings from films he'd filmed when the pair were still together.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills – $48.6 million
Former Beatle Paul McCartney and businesswoman Heather's divorce in 2008 got messy when she sought £125 million but he offered her £15.8 million. In the end, a judge ordered the former model should be awarded £24.3 million, equivalent to around $48 million at that time.
Michael Jordan and Juanita Jordan – $168 million
One of the biggest divorce settlements in American history, basketballer Michael Jordan's mutually agreed divorce from his wife of 17 years in 2006 led to Juanita receiving a staggering payment of $168 million. The model also received the pair's seven-acre mansion in Chicago.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie – $75-90 million
Reports conflict regarding how much money 'Vogue' singer Madonna had to pay her former husband Guy Ritchie after they settled their divorce in 2008. Some publications reported the Sherlock Holmes director would receive $75 million but others suggested the figure was more around the $90 million region. Guy also received the pair's English country home and the pub which they had co-owned in their settlement.
Lionel Richie and Diane Richie – $20 million
After eight years together as a married couple, Lionel and Diane split in 2003. Their divorce settlement led to the 'Three Times a Lady' paying the fashion designer $20 million.
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