Jeff Bezos' divorce could rank among the most expensive of all time — here are the 10 most expensive divorces ever

Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesJeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos.
  • Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos announced the two agreed upon a divorce settlement in which the Amazon CEO keeps 75% of company shares.
  • MacKenzie said she looks forward “to the next phase as co-parents and friends” in a statement on Twitter.
  • The agreed settlement would make the divorce the costliest in history.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Thursday he and his wife MacKenzie decided upon a divorce agreement, with Jeff Bezos keeping 75% of company stock.

MacKenzie Bezos gave up all interests to The Washington Post and spaceflight venture Blue Origin, while Jeff will have voting control over the Amazon shares she retains. Her stake is estimated to be worth more than $US35 billion at current prices, making her among the world’s richest women.

The Bezos announced their divorce in January, immediately fuelling speculation about the details of their eventual settlement.

Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $US137 billion, is the richest person in the world, and some media outlets have mused whether his divorce could become the most expensive of all time. If Washington state issues a divorce decree to the couple, the divorce would rank as the priciest in history.

The mogul would join a long list of celebrities who have been on the wrong end of a costly divorce settlement, which includes Paul McCartney, Madonna, Tiger Woods, and even President Donald Trump.

Read more:
Jeff Bezos will still be the richest man in the world after his divorce, even though MacKenzie Bezos is keeping 25% of their Amazon shares

Each of those settlements was worth tens of millions of dollars, but they pale in comparison to the most expensive divorce settlements of all time.

That dubious list is reserved for settlements worth hundreds of millions of dollars – and in a few eye-popping cases, $US1 billion or more.

Read on to see the most expensive divorce settlements of all time:

10. Bob Johnson and Sheila Crump Johnson, 2002 — $US400 million

Getty Images

Television moguls Bob Johnson and Sheila Johnson were married from 1969 to 2002, and during their time together cofounded the network Black Entertainment Television.

In 2000, the couple became the first African-American billionaires, and when the couple divorced two years later, Sheila Johnson walked away with $US400 million, according to ABC News.

In a twist of fate, Sheila later married the judge who presided over her divorce.

9. Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore, 2006 — $US425 million

The nearly half-a-million-dollar settlement between actor Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore remains the largest Hollywood divorce payout in history.

The settlement totaled half of the actor’s net worth at the time.

8. Craig McCaw and Wendy McCaw, 1997 — $US460 million

Getty Images

Cell phone industry pioneer Craig McCaw and newspaper publisher Wendy McCaw amicably divorced in 1997, with the settlement estimated to exceed $US460 million in Nextel stock, according to Forbes.

7. Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovlev, 2014 — $US604 million

Times UK

Elena Rybolovleva filed for divorce from Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev and cited his “serial infidelity,” saying he used to “share his young conquests with his friends, and other oligarchs.”

The courts initially awarded Elena a whopping $US4.5 billion in the settlement in 2014, but after an appeal, she walked away with “only” $US604 million.

6. Adnan Khashoggi and Soraya Khashoggi, 1980 — $US874 million

Getty Images

In 1961, Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi married a 20-year-old British woman named Sandra Daly, who converted to Islam and changed her name to Soraya.

According to Time, at the height of their wealth, the couple owned 17 homes, three planes, and three yachts.

The couple divorced in 1974 and their settlement totaled a then-record $US874 million dollars – equivalent to more than $US2 billion today.

5. Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall, 2012 — $US975 million

(AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

The bitter divorce proceedings between oil magnate Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Arnall ended with Hamm writing her a massive $US974.8 million check.

Arnall didn’t immediately cash the check amid a multi-year court battle for a larger settlement, but ultimately deposited it in 2015.

4. Steve and Elaine Wynn, 2010 — $US1 billion

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas casino bigwigs Steve and Elaine Wynn were married to each other not once but twice, from 1963 to 1986 and from 1991 to 2010.

Their second divorce is said to be one of the most expensive of all time. Although details have been kept under wraps, the settlement is estimated at $US1 billion.

3. Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radić, 2009 — $US1.2 billion

(AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Formula One executive Bernie Ecclestone, one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, divorced Croatian model Slavica Radić in 2009.

The settlement was estimated at $US1.2 billion, and although the details aren’t completely clear, there appears to be an unusual twist – Radić seems to be the one paying Ecclestone.

2. Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv, 1999 — $US1.7 billion

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and journalist Maria Torv were married for 31 years and had three children together.

But the couple had diverging plans for when Murdoch would retire, and they agreed to an “amicable separation” in 1998. Details of the separation are sparse, but Torv is rumoured to have received $US1.7 billion.

Both parties seemed to have moved on quickly: Murdoch married Wendi Deng 17 days after the divorce, while Torv married William Mann six months after.

1. Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Wildenstein, 1999 — $US3.8 billion

Wikimedia Commons

The costliest known divorce occurred in 1999, when French-American businessman and art dealer Alec Wildenstein divorced his wife of 21 years, Jocelyn Wildenstein.

The high-profile divorce proceedings resulted in Jocelyn being awarded $US2.5 billion and $US100 million for each of the next 13 years, according to People, for a jaw-dropping total of $US3.8 billion. That’s about $US5.7 billion in today’s dollars.

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