10 most expensive divorce settlements of all time

Gentlemen, the takeaway lesson here is: sign a prenup. Or, you know, don’t cheat.

June 15, 2016

Nick Robertson co-founded As Seen On Screen or ASOS – an online fashion retailer that sells more than 80,000 branded and own-brand products to nearly 10 million customers – in the year 2000 and stepped down as chief executive last year.

Earlier this year, Robertson was ordered to hand about a third of his £220 million fortune to his ex-wife Janine after a High Court cash battle. To fund his £70 million settlement, Robertson sold a chunk of his shareholding in the online fashion retailer to the tune of £46million.

Don’t let the  figures overwhelm you. While the settlement had the potential of being Britain’s biggest settlement ever with Mrs Robertson asking for half of her husband’s fortune, it ranks nowhere near the top 10 most expensive settlements. Take a look.

 Dmitry and Elena Rybolovlev

Estimated settlement: $4.5 billion

After 23 years of marriage, Elena Rybolovlev filed for divorce in 2008 saying she could no longer take the Russian oligarch’s infidelities. The divorce dragged on until 2014 when a Geneva court ordered the AS Monaco owner to make an award of $4.5bn to his ex-wife. Mrs Rybolovlev also won custody of the couple's 13-year-old daughter Anna, along with the billionaire’s half of their former home in Cologny, an upmarket neighbourhood of Geneva.

Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein

Estimated settlement: $2.5 billion

French businessman and billionaire Alec Wildenstein married Jocelyne Périsset in 1978. The couple parted ways in 1999 after Jocelyne caught her husband in bed with another woman. Jocelyne was known for her plastic surgeries. She did them so her husband would pay more attention to her but unfortunately he screamed in horror when he first saw her new face. When they split, she argued that her payout should include $1 million per month to employ household staff.

Rupert and Anna Murdoch

Estimated settlement: $1.7 billion

The Australian media mogul and his wife decided to call it quits after being married for 32 years in a $1.7 billion settlement that included $110 million in cash. A mere 17 days later, Rupert wed Wendi Deng, though the couple have since divorced.

Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone

Estimated settlement: $1.2 billion

In one of the most bewildering cases ever the president and CEO of Formula One married Slavica, a model 28 years his junior. That’s not what has us scratching our heads though, we get that money talks. The couple were married for 23 years before the Croatian model filed for divorce and received her share of $1.2 billion. The case is bewildering because after the couple split in 2009, Bernie received half a billion dollars from his ex-wife’s trust fund.

Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi

Estimated settlement: $850 million

Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian businessman, married Soraya Khashoggi (originally Sandra Daly, until she converted to Islam) in 1961. By 1980, Adnan’s net worth was valued at $4 billion. Adnan was said to have owned 12 homes – in Marbella, Paris, Cannes, Madrid and Monte Carlo. Plus, he had a stable of Arabian horses and 200 exotic animals, 100 limousines and a $75 million yacht. The couple split in 1982. If adjusted for inflation though, the divorce settlement would topple $2 billion.

Craig and Wendy McCaw

Estimated settlement: $460 million

Seattle-area businessman and founder of McCaw Cellular, Craig McCaw and his wife Wendy split up, in 1998, just a few years after Mr McCaw sold his company to AT&T for about 12 billion. When the settlement was finalized, it put Mrs McCaw on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans.

Mel and Robyn Gibson

Estimated settlement: $425 million

Mel Gibson met the dental assistant Robyn Moore in Australia in the 1970s, well before his career had taken off. The pair were married for 30 years and had seven children before Robyn filed for divorce in 2009 – because Mel had a child with Oksana Grigorieva – and waked away with half of the actor and director’s fortune making this the largest divorce settlement in Hollywood history.

Robert and Sheila Johnson

Estimated settlement: $400 million

The co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and his wife of 30 years split up in 2000 – a year after Mr Johnson sold the network to Viacom for $3 billion. Sheila, who received her share of $400 million for the settlement, married William T. Newman Jr., the judge who presided over her original divorce case.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Estimated settlement: $325 million

Like Mel, the Governor of California fathered a child with a member of the couple’s domestic staff. Needless to say Maria Shriver decided to end their 25-year marriage and walked away with half of the Terminator’s wealth.

Roman and Irina Abramovich

Estimated settlement: $300 million

The owner of Chelsea football club got away rather cheap when you consider that Russian courts usually give wives 50 per cent of the husbands wealth. Poor Irina could have walked away with about $9 billion. Instead, she had to make do with a measly $300 million.