Top Divorce Settlements


We here at Bitter Lawyer are all for finding the easy way out. Grinding it out in BigLaw can earn you some dollars, but so can at lot of other things like marrying rich. The only thing better than marrying rich, is marrying rich . . . then getting into a messy divorce battle that you win!  Here’s to hoping you find the right cash cow—and make sure you don’t get suckered into a prenup.



1. Elin Nordgeren: $100 million

Hey, the last babysitting gig we had paid minimum wage. This Swedish goddess turned a nanny gig into a marriage to the highest paid athlete in the world. We all know how that turned out. We tried to do that math; we think it boils down to around $1 million per infidelity. Bottom line is, she put in a few years with one of the most boring men alive (at least when he was with her) in exchange for $100 million dollars. Not a bad deal. On the plus side for Tiger, he has one golfer he can talk about it with. Greg Norman once paid his ex around 8 figures after they split as well.


2. Soraya Khashoggi: $874 million

For almost two decades, Saudi billionaire entrepreneur and arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi held the record for the most expensive divorce settlement in history. We at Bitter Lawyer are a bit surprised—not at the amount, but that a man in control of an impressive cache of weapons didn’t just have her offed. Maybe billionaire arms dealers aren’t such bad people after all.


3.  Slavica Ecclestone: $1–1.2 billion (estimated)

We mostly put them on this list because the name Slavica Ecclestone has a great ring to it. Say it 3 times real fast. Also because the former model was a foot taller then her billionaire ex-husband, Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone—and also 28 years younger. Oh the things we do for money. The divorce was initially thought to be the most expensive in history, in the range of $4 billion. But the final settlement is estimated to be closer to $1 billion. Lucky for her she didn’t go out and buy that $4 billion dollar purse before the check was delivered.


4. Anna Murdoch: $1.7 billion

The most expensive divorce in the world to date is between Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his former wife, Anna Murdoch (now Anna Murdoch Mann). After a marriage of 32 years and three children together, the couple split up in 1999. Under the settlement, $1.7 billion of Rupert’s fortune (which included $110 million in cash) went to Anna. She also gave her exclusive story about the intimate details of their breakup to a rival news publication. That’s what we call payback. Well, that and the 1.7 billion.


5. Guy Ritchie: $76–92 million

Hey, its 2011, and we at Bitter Lawyer believe in equal work for equal pay! In December 2008, pop star Madonna and director Guy Ritchie broke up their marriage of 8 years. Madonna’s representatives confirmed the settlement was between $76 and 92 million. Although Ritchie was worth an estimated $45 million at the time, and said he wasn’t interested in a substantial portion of his ex-wife’s wealth, he ended up with a hefty ransom. So when he said “he wasn’t interested” what he meant was “actually, yes I am interested.”

Look for Ms. Frank McCourt to be added to this prestigious list shortly.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnbullas/4080600169/)

Bitter Staff is a collection of current and former editors, contributors, and various other lawyers who have written for Bitter Lawyer over the years. Posts include interviews, contests, and other general lawyerly and bitter content.

1 Comment

  1. Bill

    August 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    3 cheers to Guy Ritchie. He managed to bone Madonna, and then got paid royally for it. With all of the female bloodsuckers out there squeezing the life out of their former hubby’s wiener, you can figure that some of those poor schmucks paid an average of over $200,000 for each time they boned these women. Can you imagine these dames calling other broads “whores?”

    What a racket! Tiger’s woman got probably an average of close to $500K each time she parted the red sea!

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