Everyone knows that divorce can be an expensive process, but some of the sums involved in the world’s most expensive divorces are truly eye-watering.
Expensive divorces have been in the news recently with the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev being forced to pay his former wife $4.5 billion in what has been called the “most expensive divorce in history”.
The order came from a Swiss court, with Elena Rybolovlev’s divorce solicitors branding it a “complete victory”. Her former husband is now set to lose half of his wealth.
Dmitry Rybolovlev’s spokesperson Serget Chernitsyn argued that the divorce was a “win” for him, although his lawyers are said to be launching an appeal. Query why Mr. Rybolovlev would appeal if he won his case? Pure bafflegab!
The couple was married for 23 years and it took six years for the case to be completed. Rybovelev made his money from the potassium fertilizer industry and is the owner of the Monaco Football Club. He is also famous for buying the Palm Beach Maison de L’Amitie from Donald Trump for chump change, around $95 billion!
THE DIVORCE OF MURDOCH AND DENG
Controversial media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s 2013 divorce from Wendi Deng cost him a reported $1.8 billion even though he had a pre-nuptial agreement. This gives you an idea that prenps may not be everything they are cracked up to be, particularly if a couple’s circumstances change and children enter the picture.
They were married for 14 years and it is likely the payout to Ms. Deng was so high due to the needs of their daughters’, among other reasons. Deng, who is almost 40 years his junior, hit the headlines when she slapped a protestor who threw a pie at her husband during the phone-hacking enquiry in 2011.
Murdoch married Deng just two-and-a-half weeks after his previous marriage was finalised in 1999 with the help of divorce lawyers. He also paid a bundle to his first wife!
THE WILDENSTEIN’S DIVORCE
The 1997 divorce of Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein cost an estimated $2.5 billion. Alec was from a family of famous art dealers and their divorce was seen as a huge scandal. Things turned sour when Ms. Wildenstein caught her husband in bed with a young Russian model.
Alec then, wielding a gun, threatened his wife and for his trouble spent a sleepless night in the local jail. Judge Marilyn Diamond, who presided over the divorce proceedings received a number of death threats.
Judge Diamond told Jocelyn that she could not use the alimony payments for cosmetic surgery, as by this time Ms. Wildenstein’s multiple surgeries led to her nickname “The Cat Woman”.
The Court gave her $2.5 billion and $100 million every year for 13 years after. Alec Wildenstein died in 2008 leaving his young Russian widow.
ECCLESTONE PAID BY FORMER WIFE
Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone raised eyebrows when it was made public that he was being paid by his ex-wife following his 2009 divorce.
Documents recently released showed that Ecclestone was receiving $100 million dollars each year from his former wife Slavica’s trust fund. Information about how long the payments would continue have not been made public.
It’s said that this divorce was worth $1.2 billion, placing it high in the top ten divorces in history. Ecclestone is one of the sporting world’s most controversial figures and famously paid a significant sum to escape bribery charges in spring 2014.
It seems the richer you are, the harder you will fight to retain your wealth. Quite amazing to realize that these couples could not in a lifetime spend all the money they have.
“Money often costs too much.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
This post was GUEST AUTHORED by RIX AND KAY, Family law solicitors from Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex and Kent in the UNITED KINGDOM, an experienced team of barristers and solicitors.