The TomKat divorce is yet another reminder of the hopelessness of even the most hopeful celebrity marriages. From nasty custody battles to ridiculous payouts, we’ve seen it all. Here are some of the extremes:
Golf hero Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren split promptly after the discovery of his innumerable alleged affairs. Nordegren has custody of the kids, but can’t speak about their marriage in interviews or tell-all books. Neither parents are allowed to bring their single opposite-sex friends around the kids.
Who didn’t cry a little bit when Brad and Jen broke up? After just over four years of marriage, the dream couple called it quits, and Aniston (who had legally changed her last name to Pitt) had her professional surname legally restored.
Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage caused an uproar (the divorce drama lasted longer than the marriage itself), but who can forget about Britney’s shortest-ever marriage stint? A highly intoxicated Britney Spears flew old hometown friend Jason Alexander to Vegas to ring in the new year of 2004. After a quickie wedding at the little white chapel, Britney’s family freaked out (celebrity/non-celeb marriage with no prenup: not such a good idea), so Spears had the marriage annulled after 55 hours, stating that she “lacked understanding of her actions, to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage.”
Splitting amicably is not just a good idea because it’s nice; contested divorces are public record, so the dirt is out for all to see.
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills’ may be one of the most entertaining divorces of all time. After four years together (following the death of McCartney’s former wife of 30 years), the couple headed to divorce court in 2006. While Mills called her husband an abusive, violent drug abuser, the press labeled Mills as a high-class prostitute and a gold-digger. During trial, Mills poured water over one of McCartney’s lawyers.
If Alec Baldwin can’t be civil to a flight attendant, we could hardly expect him to have a peaceful divorce. Several years after divorcing Kim Basinger, Baldwin left a nasty voicemail for their daughter, calling her a “rude, thoughtless little pig” after she missed a prearranged phone call with him. Baldwin lost visitation rights temporarily.
Charlie Sheen is such a stellar guy. After three years of marriage, Denise Richards filed for divorce from Sheen, claiming he was unfaithful, abusive, and addicted to porn and prostitutes. A lot of disturbingly mean words were said by Sheen in voicemails and emails, and the custody battle got pretty ugly. His split from Brooke Mueller wasn’t much prettier.
Last year Mel Gibson lost half of his $850 million fortune to his wife of 31 years. Gibson’s wife is also entitled to half of his residual income from the movies he made during their marriage. While $425 million makes for a pretty expensive divorce—even by Hollywood standards—nothing tops the $1.7 billion in assets and $110 million in cash lost by Rupert Murdoch in his 1999 divorce from his wife Anna.
Larry King has had seven wives and eight divorces; back in 1962, he divorced former Playboy bunny Alene Akins, then remarried her in 1967 before divorcing her again in 1972. Too bad the guy didn’t think to get divorce insurance (yes, they have that) a few wives back.