Phil Collins to Madonna – priciest celeb divorces as Adele splits £140m with ex03/06/2021
Celebrities are well-known for being fickle in marriages, and Hollywood nuptials in particular rarely last.
While some of the greatest and longest-lasting romances come from the A Listers – Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones to name but a few – there are plenty more that have had high-profile breakups too.
And with oodles of fame and popularity comes bags of cash, so naturally celebrity divorces cost a pretty penny.
Most recently, superstar Adele could very well be regretting not signing a prenup with her ex-husband Simon Konecki, as the Hello hitmaker split her £140million fortune with her son Angelo’s dad as their painful divorce finally came to a close.
Here are some of the most expensive divorces ever to grace celeb-land.
Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey
In the Air Tonight crooner Phil Collins has tied the knot three times over the course of his life.
The 70-year-old began his complicated love life when he married former classmate Andrea Bertorelli in 1975, after the pair reconnected at a Genesis concert in Vancouver, Canada.
Unfortunately, one child later the pair called it quits and divorced in 1980 just as Phil met Jill Tavelman.
The couple had daughter and famous actress Lily Collins, but it wasn’t to be, and after they signed the papers Phil tried to see if the third time was the charm with Swiss Mexican Orianne Cevey in 1999.
It wasn’t, and after six years of marriage and two children together, the rock star suffered a hefty cut from his wallet.
Phil paid his ex-wife £25m, which at the time became the largest settlement in a British celebrity divorce ever.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
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Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills’ divorce was one of the most publicised in the world, and it certainly wasn’t amicable.
The couple met in 1999 soon after the Beatles singer’s first beloved wife Linda McCartney died of cancer in 1998, and instantly hit it off.
Heather even broke off an engagement to be with Paul at the time, but when the couple decided to call it quits in 2006 things rapidly deteriorated.
A bitter battle ensued as Heather was accused of telling "lies", and she herself claimed she’d been hiding the truth of her difficult relationship with Paul’s daughter Stella McCartney, a world-renowned fashion designer.
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Heather said at the time that Stella had done some "evil, evil things" during the course of her marriage to her dad, and so the raging war carried on.
The former catwalk model was eventually awarded a £24.3m divorce payout from Sir Paul, and in one last painful disappointment it was less than half what she’d sought via their lawyers – £125m.
When she heard the settlement, Heather famously poured a jug of water over Sir Paul’s lawyer.
According to the socialite, she also spent most of her settlement within the first two years, as she said: "Most of it’s been given to charity, gone into ethical businesses or paid for a couple of properties for my daughter’s [Beatrice, with Sir Paul] future security," she said.
"I could never sit with millions of pounds in the bank that could make matters change," the star added.
Heidi Klum and Seal
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Heidi Klum and Kiss From A Rose singer Seal were married seven years when they decided to split up in 2012.
They said in a joint statement to PEOPLE magazine at the time: "While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul-searching we have decided to separate.
"We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart.
"This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition," the couple continued.
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Yet despite having a united front, a source told The Daily Mail that Heidi filed for divorce because she was worried about the effect Seal’s "volcanic temper" would have on their three children over time.
She was also reportedly fed up with the 58-year-old’s hard partying at the time, and despite the model’s dad telling the media that the family were "very sad" by the breakdown, the exes achieved a settlement of reportedly between £36-50 million, and claimed no spousal support.
It is not clear how the former couple split custody of their children.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
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Like a Virgin superstar Madonna and Brit filmmaker Guy Ritchie appeared to be an unlikely couple when they got married in 2000, but the duo quickly cemented themselves in the land of celebrity.
Eight years later the couple finalised their divorce settlement, which ended up with Madonna giving her ex-husband between £54m and £65m.
The couple share one son called Rocco.
Madonna has said of her marriage breaking down that things start with "everything great and lovely", but with time inevitably comes problems – and the person she thought was flawless just wasn't anymore.
"You share a life, you have children, and there are cracks in the veneer," the star said. "It’s not as romantic as it used to be."
Guy has also claimed that being with the musician was like "being a soap opera".
Adele and Simon Konecki
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Adele and Simon got together in 2011, before holding a secret ceremony to celebrate their nuptials five years later.
Famously private about her home life, the singer didn’t even officially reveal she was married until 2017, when she gave an acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards gushing over her husband and son.
The couple were more upfront about their decision to split however, announcing they were separating in April 2019 and then updating that they were in the final stages of completing their divorce almost a year later.
Insistent on keeping the details top secret, the 21 album maker had her request from a court in LA to keep the documents private granted.
Following phenomenal success in her music career, Adele is now worth an estimated £131m, whereas her ex-husband is a relative unknown.
The Sun reported that the former couple didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, so things could have gotten sticky between the pair if Simon had fought for the mother of his child to give him up to half of her immense fortune, but the exact settlement figure is unknown.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
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Perhaps one of the most infamous break ups in recent times is that of Brangelina – partly because when they got together the world was firmly split into two camps.
There were those who believed Brad Pitt should have stayed with his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, and those who supported him with new bride Angelina Jolie after sparks flew when they met on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005.
Time passed and before long the Pitt-Jolie brood became a true fixture of Hollywood – the monster A Listers often seen holding a united front with their six children in tow.
Sadly, things broke down after an alleged incident with the family on a plane in 2016, and Angelina chose to separate from Brad reportedly for the "wellbeing of her family" soon after, according to her interview with Vogue India.
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"I separated for the wellbeing of my family. It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing," she said at the time.
The former couple are still not divorced over four years later, but it’s reported discussions continue to go on behind the scenes.
While nothing has been finalised, the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood actor is said to have offered Angelina a whopping settlement of £72m, putting them firmly in the pricey divorce list.
Mel Gibson and Robyn Gibson
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Ending the list on a high is the incredibly expensive divorce of Hollywood actor Mel Gibson and his ex wife Robyn.
The couple were married for 31 years, sharing everything together over the course of his career and through the days of Braveheart to What Women Want, as well as raising their seven children.
Sadly, the two decided it was time to call time on their union after Mel was arrested for drink driving.
With Robyn marrying Mel before his career took off, there would likely have been no prenup involved, and the American star had roughly £614m in assets when their marriage ended.
That would put the settlement at an enormous £307m if they split right down the middle – what a finish.
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