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Celebrity divorces are big news — perhaps because people derive a little consolation in seeing that the rich and famous have marital troubles just like the rest of us. As the U.S. economy hits rocky waters and the vast majority of Americans have few if any assets to divide in a divorce, it's interesting to read about people who have amassed millions of dollars and must now lose part of it to an ex-spouse.
Madonna and Guy Are Just Number Six
Most of the time, in any income tax bracket, it's the husband who loses up to half of the marital fortune that he may feel is his — but not always. Recent reports indicate that singer Madonna will be giving her ex-husband Guy Ritchie $76 – $92 million in their divorce settlement. Even with such a large payout, their divorce ranks only sixth-highest in the global list of expensive splits. From tenth most expensive on up (but from "recent years," not just 2008):
10. Actor Michael Douglas' divorce from his wife of 23 years cost him $45 million in 2000.
9. Singer Phil Collins' 2008 divorce from his wife Orianne Cevey ended with her receiving $46.76 million.
8. Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills was given $48.6 million in their 2008 divorce settlement.
7. Movie director James Cameron paid Linda Hamilton $50 million in a 1999 divorce.
6. Madonna and Guy, after an eight-year marriage.
5. Actor Kevin Costner split from his wife Cindy Silve in 1994, paying her $80 million.
4. Actor Harrison Ford's 2004 divorce cost him $85 million to his ex-wife Melissa Mathison.
3. Director Steven Spielberg's divorce from actress Amy Irving paid her $100 million in 2004, despite their pre-nuptial agreement.
2. Singer Neil Diamond's divorce from Marcia Murphey cost him $150 million in 1996.
1. The largest divorce payout ever — at least in a celebrity, revealed-to-the-public divorce — was the 2007 split between basketball star Michael Jordan and his wife Juanita after 18 years of marriage and two kids: $168 million.
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