Some Of The Most Costly Divorces

divorceSource: Pixabay

When you’re rich, everything is oversized: your home, your car, your jewelry…and your divorce. For the following couples, love did not last and they found themselves paying for it upon their splits.

7. Craig and Wendy McCaw

Telecom pioneer Craig McCaw and his wife Wendy divorced in 1997 after 23 years of marriage. McCaw started a cellular business with his three brothers which they then sold to AT&T in 1994 for $11.5 billion. Craig continued in the wireless business by next purchasing Nextel. A majority of the divorce settlement came from Nextel stock and the total came to at least $460 million. As a result of the divorce, Wendy was briefly listed on Forbes 400 in 1998. Wendy went on to use some of her settlement money to purchase the newspaper Santa Barbara News-Press in 2000. Craig’s current net worth is $1.8 billion while Wendy’s is $500 million.

6. Dmitry Rybolovlev & Elena Rybolovleva

Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian businessman and investor who made his fortune with Russia’s largest potassium fertilizer producer, Uralkali, had a years-long divorce procedure. It started New Year’s Eve 2008 with Elena filing due to Dmitry’s “serial infidelity” and ended in October 2015. Elena ended up with an estimated $605 million, down from the original $4.5 billion that a Swiss court originally awarded in 2014.

5. Roy E. & Patricia Disney

The nephew of Walt Disney and his wife filed for divorce in 2007 after 52 years of marriage. Prior to the divorce, Roy E. was worth $1.3 billion and on the Forbes 400. However, with the $600 million settlement to Patricia, he lost almost half of his fortune. He died 2 years later, one year after marrying a new wife, Leslie DeMeuse.

4. Harold Hamm & Sue Ann Arnall

Harold, an oil tycoon, divorced his wife of 26 years, Sue Ann, in 2015. As they had no prenup, he quickly found himself embroiled in a bitter divorce. Harold ended up writing a personal check for $974,790,317.77. At first Sue Ann rejected it, then accepted and deposited the check, and then decided she wanted to try for more of Harold’s $13.7 billion fortune. Ultimately, her appeal did not work, and she had to settle for only $975 million. Harold? He’s still worth $12.6 billion today.

3. Bill & Sue Gross

Bill Gross, co-founder of the investment management firm PIMCO, had to pay his wife Sue $1.3 billion when they divorced in 2017 after 32 years of marriage. Prior to the divorce, the couple who also ran the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation, had a net worth of almost $3 billion. Bill fell to a mere $1.5 billion, losing his spot on the Forbes 400, while Sue gained a $36 million home in Laguna beach, half the couple’s art collection, and custody of their 3 cats.

2. Alec & Jocelyn Wildenstein

The most expensive divorce so far was that of Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein. In 1999, they divorced after 21 years of marriage. Jocelyn was awarded a settlement of $2.5 billion plus $100 million each year for the next 13 years. This came to a grand total of $3.8 billion – which is $5.7 billion today! Alec, born in France but raised in New York City, earned his money as a racehorse owner and breeder. Three years after his divorce from Jocelyn, he also received a large inheritance in artwork from his father ($10 billion). Jocelyn, a Swiss socialite, did not come from money, gained notoriety through her divorce, her extensive cosmetic surgery (in an attempt to look cat-like), and her quite extravagant lifestyle – spending $60,000/year for her telephone use and $547,000/year for food and wine!

1. Jeff & Mackenzie Bezos

The latest famous couple to file for divorce, Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos are splitting after 25 years of marriage. Jeff is currently the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of $136.2 billion. No one is yet sure how much the settlement may be, but Washington is what is called a “community property state” in which everything acquired during marriage is divided equally, including income. This means that Mackenzie could get at least half of Jeff’s stake in Amazon. The latest stock prices put this amount at $67 billion! Even if she got a measly 1% or roughly $7 billion, she would still explode the current record held by the Grosses.


Steve and Elaine Wynn, cofounders of Wynn Resorts hotels and casinos, had a rocky relationship, marrying in 1963, divorcing in 1986, remarrying in 1991, and divorcing again in 2010. Their final settlement led to Steve giving Elaine around $1 billion in stocks and cash. Just like the Wynn’s marriages and divorces, every round of online blackjack at River Belle Casino is an adventure.

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