Divorce is something that we all know of and for many of us it can be an unfortunate reality when we’re no longer able to sustain a long-term relationship. All the pain and suffering, both financial and emotional, is heightened in the celebrity world where millions of people monitor and comment on fractured famous relationships, and where the financial and legal cost of ending a union can be astronomical.

Read on to find out about some of the nastiest divorces in the celebrity world, and what the total cost has been for celebs who decided to end their vows.

Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger

Throughout most of the 1990s, Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger were the Hollywood starlet couple to watch. Both had vivacious looks, a charming manner and a public persona that captured the attention of an adoring worldwide public. In 2000 things came to a rocky head when Bassinger filed for divorce against her famous husband in 2001. The custody battle between Baldwin and Bassinger over their daughter, Ireland, was particularly vicious, and Baldwin’s anger issues saw him insult his own daughter and admit to having fantasies of murdering his ex-wife’s divorce lawyer.
According to reports in 2013, both Baldwin and Bassinger are back on friendly terms again, but with a past as turbulent as theirs, who knows how long the peace will last?

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Now, this was a relationship that was bound to have its ups and downs from the get-go. McCartney, the world’s most successful recording artist, married Mills, a model and anti-landmine campaigner in 2002 in a move that drew the interest of Beatles fans and celeb-watchers worldwide. Much was made of the belief that Mills, marrying a man far older than her, was mainly interested in financial benefits.
In 2006 just four years after they married the couple divorced and Mills received close to $50 million dollars in settlement money. While both have moved on and McCartney remarried at 71, its fair to say that Mills won’t be having to work for awhile with the money she received from the music superstar.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

When Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren finalized their divorce in 2010, there would have been few that didn’t see it coming. But when it earlier emerged that Woods had been cheating on Nordegren in 2009, the developments of the revelation took the world completely by storm. From one mishap to the next, dozens of women around the world were soon alleging that they had slept with the golf superstar- and all these ripples caused the end of Woods’ and Nordegren’s marriage one year later.
The payout that Woods’ ex-wife received was substantial, and according to news reports she purchased and then added to a sprawling estate complex in North Palm Beach, Florida, as part of a whopping $100 million dollar settlement she received in court. Now that’s one way to move on from a cheating partner!

Madonna and Guy Ritchie

It was the marriage the world watched and commented on with baited breath and starry eyes. After being introduced at a party by Sting and his wife, Madonna and Guy Ritchie quickly hit it off, particularly as each was achieving artistic and commercial success (Madonna through her music, Ritchie through his movies). After a couple of cinematic flops and Madonna discovering her calling as a world savior, things in the Ritchie-Madonna relationship became strained, not aided by Madonna’ inability to get on with her husband’s mother.
With their relationship on the rocks, Madonna and Ritchie kept up the pretence of normality for the cameras for a few months after they’d decided to divorce- but in the end, the cracks turned inevitably into a gulf from which the once star-crossed lovers couldn’t escape. In a settlement that puts Woods and his ex-wife to shame, Ritchie reportedly received close to $100 million in a payout finalized in 2009. The two share custody of both their natural children, and a child adopted from the African country of Malawi.

Wendi Deng and Rupert Murdoch

Wendi Deng and Billionaire media-magnate Rupert Murdoch were married in 1999, only 17 days after Murdoch had finalized divorce proceedings with his second wife. Both Murdoch, who has now had three wives, and Deng who had two husbands, have both had their fair share of trading and swapping partners to suit their changing needs and tastes.
Media coverage of the marriage between the two was kept fairly low-key throughout its duration, although it is known they have two daughters, both of whom hold shares in the Murdoch media empire. Deng’s role as a supportive partner came to the fore in a press conference in 2012, when she attacked a protestor who through a pie at Murdoch as he faced a parliamentary inquiry regarding his ‘News of the World’ publication- a move that spread her fame throughout both the West and China!

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Michael Sampson is studying a law degree at Macquarie University, and aims to learn more about the legal implications of divorce for couples with opposing interests.

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