The Most Expensive Divorces in Recorded History – Part 2

If you thought the last installment of divorce proceedings were pricey, just wait ’til you get a load of these expensive divorces in history…

The Real Estate Mogul(’s Son) vs. the Hong Kong Kutie 

Originally granted $1.4 billion by a Hong Kong court, the Court of Appeal there has very recently readjusted that figure to $411 million: that’s what poor Florence Tsang Chiu-wing must somehow learn to live with now.  The savvy solicitor had her initial cash windfall cut by 2/3rds as her ex, Samathur Li Kin-kan (son of Samuel Tak Lee, who runs Prudential Enterprise) just wasn’t happy forking over the initial 1.4 bil.  Neither was his irked Pappa, who made all those HKDollars to begin with.  Their marriage of 8 years allegedly collapsed after Flo caught Sam cheating / he wanted her to terminate a pregnancy.  Lesson: You play = you pay.

The Rabid Ranter vs. The Woman Who Wanted Moore

The largest haul in Hollywood divorce history, Actor/Director/Imbiber Mel Gibson was forced to divvy up half of his entire fortune and unceremoniously bequeath it to (ex) wife Robyn Moore.  This came out to a cool $425 million.  The divorce came right on the heels of the discovery of a secret lovechild Gibson had with his comely Russian mistress, the musically inclined Oksana Grigorieva.  Grigorieva recently filed for bankruptcy, Gibson has all but been ostracized from Hollywood for his numerous racist and sexist public comments, while Moore is more than likely sipping on a piña colada on a tropical beach somewhere, getting a nice tan.

Cell His Soul vs. Dave Thomas’s Daughter 

Terminating a cell phone agreement can come with unwanted fees.  The same applies when you terminate a marriage.  McCaw Cellular founder, coincidentally named Craig MacCaw, amicably spilt from his wife Wendy and promptly deposited $460 million into her personal account (perhaps he was afraid of incurring a late fee).  Odds are Craig wasn’t too concerned about the seemingly ample amount of loot that Wendy received, as a few years prior to their divorce he’d just sold his company to AT&T for 12 billion clams.

Wynn Some/Lose Some vs. The Winsome Elaine 

This is not as cynical a story as a lot of these.  The Wynns, Stephen and Elaine, were college sweeties who really tried to make things work.  They got divorced after two decades together, but then got remarried a few years after that.  Ultimately, the hotel magnate and his bride didn’t last.  When they divorced for the second time, the grand total that Elaine left with was a staggering 740 million dollars.  The truly hurtful thing?  She was once seen staying at a Marriott.

The Saudi (Arms) Prince vs. the Nubile Young Princess 

The year was 1961.  Fifteen year old Saudi Arabian Soraya could never have imagined the life that was in store for her.  When she met and married Adnan Khashoggi, a prolific arms dealer, she most likely didn’t envision herself popping out five of his kids and then a few decades later pocketing 874 million dollars in an eye popping divorce settlement.  The couple spent five years warring about this sum in divorce court (where Mr. Khashoggi surely must have wished to unleash some of his high artillery weapons…)

David vs. the Goliath Model 

It takes a big man to admit that his marriage has failed, even when he’s a lilliputian.  Well, that’s at least how Bernard Ecclestone looks when standing next to his (now ex) wife, statuesque/gargantuan ex-model Slavica Ecclestone.  After dissolving a quarter century of wedded bliss, the Croatian cutie waltzed away with $1.2 billion, leaving Bernard to run his little car business (Formula One racing).

The Media Monster vs. The Scottish Scriber 

The Australian born businessman, Rupert Murdoch, who happens to occupy the #33 spot on Forbes’s Richest People in America list, is no stranger to controversy.  When he and now ex wife Anna, a journalist, decided to end 32 years of marriage, there was no way she wasn’t leaving the arrangement without a ginormous settlement figure.  Anna took away $1.7 billion, leaving Rupie free to marry his mistress Wendi Deng, two and a half weeks later.  If there is one thing that is certain, it’s that Deng, who is two years junior to the Ruperts’ marriage length (30), wanted to marry Mr. Murdoch for his stunning good looks.

Cat Woman vs. The Ornate Horseman 

Certain habits don’t come cheap.  Reconstructing your entire face to resemble a feline’s, for instance.  It’s a good thing that Jocelyn Wildenstein clawed her way to a $2.5 billion divorce settlement sum, with an additional $100 million a year (for 13 years) ‘un-signing’ bonus.  The cash (which could last her 9 lives) comes from Alec Wildenstein, who earned his vast fortune by making ponies (he’s a racehorse breeder) and slingin’ Van Goghs (he’s also a famed art dealer).


-Joe Leone


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