Mel Gibson’s split from Robyn Moore, his wife of 28 years, is expected to be one of Hollywood’s most wallet-emptying divorces. If there isn’t a pre-nup (as some speculate), Moore, who married the Braveheart star before his career took off in 1980, could walk away with half of the actor’s US$1.2 billion in assets.
See how Mel and Robyn might stack up against eight of the biggest celebrity splits:
Madonna and Guy Ritchie (settlement: an estimated US$76 million)
Although most of the details have been kept confidential, reports about the split between Madonna and Ritchie suggest the filmmaker accepted US$76 million. Under English law, Ritchie could have been gone after up to half of Madonna’s fortune, which is estimated at US$450 million. The couple owned three luxury homes in London, as well as a pub and a country estate in the south-western county of Wiltshire. The pair also owned a penthouse apartment in New York City and a mansion in Beverly Hills, plus several luxury cars. Ritchie is said to have walked away with US$24 million in cash and two homes.
Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva (settlement: US$80 million)
Having been married to the Field of Dreams star during the height of his career, Cindy Silva was awarded US$80 million when their 16-year marriage ended. They had three children together.
Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison (settlement: US$85 million)
In 2004, and after 21 years of marriage and two children, Harrison Ford and Melissa Mathison, a screenwriter, decided to go their separate ways. Mathison negotiated a portion of royalties from films that Ford made while the couple were married (including two Star Wars films and three Indiana Jones movies).
Ron Wood and Jo Wood (awaiting settlement: could be as much as US$100 million)
The 61-year-old Rolling Stone guitarist may have to part with half of his fortune. His wife of 23 years, Jo, filed for divorce after Ron’s relationship with 20 year-old Ekaterina Ivanova (a former waitress) became public. Ron first met his girlfriend in a Soho bar and has since moved into a London flat with her. Jo is reportedly seeking half of her ex-husband’s fortune and a further 20 per cent for the years she spent working as his executive assistant.
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving (settlement: US$100 million)
When the famous director divorced actress Amy Irving in 1989, after four years of marriage, US$100 million amounted to about half of his net worth (he is now estimated to be worth US$3 billion). Irving successfully contested their prenuptial agreement, which had reportedly been scribbled on a napkin.
Morgan Freeman and Myrna Colley-Lee (still awaiting settlement: it could be more than US$100 million by some estimates)
Last August was a bad month for Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman. Days after a car accident left him nursing several broken bones, it surfaced that Freeman was splitting from his wife of 24 years, Myrna Colley-Lee. The divorce has yet to be settled, but some say it could cost Freeman more than US$100 million. At stake are properties in L.A., Mississippi, New York and the Virgin Islands, as well as rare stamp and coin collections. They have one child together.
Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphey (settlement: an estimated US$150 million)
Diamond had yet to catapult to stardom when he married TV production assistant Marcia Murphey in 1969. Twenty-five years later, the divorce cost the music legend an estimated US$150 million. But, as he put it, she was “worth every penny.”
Michael and Juanita Jordan (settlement: an estimated US$168 million)
Juanita first filed for divorce in 2002, after 13 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences,” but withdrew a month later in the hopes of making it work. When she filed again in 2006, the petition stuck; insiders say she initially asked for $90 million, but by the time they settled in March 2007, the deal had grown to an estimated US$168 million. Custody of their three kids went to Juanita, as did the deed to their seven-acre Chicago home.