Taken to the Cleaners
6/13/2006 7:46 PM PT
Stars -- they're just like us, right? They meet, fall in love, marry and, well, divorce just like 50 percent of the rest of us. But as we bicker over who gets the dog for the Fourth of July and permanent custody of the easy chair... stars deal in cold hard cash... wild amounts of it.
TMZ has done some digging to find divorce settlement whoppers. A theme surfaced, which could be an important life lesson for us all: If you line the pockets of your soon-to-be ex with money, and lots of it, they're way more likely to leave happy... and leave you alone.
Neil and Marcia Diamond
Holly Holy!! It was 'Love on the Rocks' for the one and only Neil Diamond. The 'Jazz Singer's' mega-million dollar breakup with his second wife Marcia tops our charts to the sweet tune of $150 million dollars. Yes that's right -- it's no typo. In fact, after it was over, Diamond said, "I wish her all the happiness $150 million can bring." Ouch. Well, he did earn it. Diamond has long been one of the most successful entertainers on the planet, selling more than 100 million records and garnering 37 Top 40 hits.
The couple lasted a quarter of a century, had two sons and survived several rocky separations before Marcia turned off her 'Heartlight.' In a notorious incident three years before she filed for divorce, Marcia made Neil a 'Solitary Man' by throwing him out of the house after accusing him of having a romp with a rodeo cowgirl. When Mrs. Diamond finally filed (citing irreconcilable differences -- natch) she reportedly got the cash and swanky homes in Beverly Hills and Aspen (nice places to drink 'Red, Red Wine' we're sure). Diamond is a true gem however and he was "happy" to fork over the money. "She is the mother of my youngest children," he said, "She's been with me through thick and thin. She deserves half of my fortune."
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving
Legendary director Steven Spielberg's personal drama is the stuff large fortunes are made of. His acrimonious divorce figures huge on the toteboard. He reportedly forked over $100 million to his former wife, actress Amy Irving, although she claims that widely-reported figure is wrong.
After months of speculation and mudslinging, the two finally decided to split in 1989. Their publicist issued a statement for the couple announcing, "The settlement agreements have already been amicably reached" (yeah right). The two were married for four years and had a son before going their separate and bitter ways. A serious prenup was reportedly involved -- a prenup Amy signed. But Amy wasn't about to release her 'Jaws' on Steven's bank account that easily. Her lawyers argued that Steven strong-armed her into signing the document without the benefit a lawyer. A judge said 'good point,' and Amy scored. Big time.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Tom and his second wife Nicole (yes there were women before Katie -- see "Couples that Bit the Dust") split in 2001 amid rumors that made sizzling headlines. The marriage wasn't all bad though... the couple adopted two beautiful kids who are close with both parents.
The split was so secret, neither side will talk to this day. Talk about tight lipped! There were, however, a few leaks. According to several news reports, Cruise avoided paying endless alimony by pulling the plug on the marriage just days before the 10 year mark. Under California law, had the marriage lasted for at least 10 years, Nicole could have been entitled to spousal support for the rest of her life.
In the end, the breakup made one of the world's most bankable stars $85 million poorer, and Australia's hottest red head a tad richer.
Kevin Costner and Cindy Silva
'Bull Durham' star Kevin Costner and his former wife Cindy Silva are a classic tale. Two college sweethearts met and fell in love during their time at Cal State Fullerton, then they married in 1978. Aww... how sweet. So where did it all go, 'Waterworld'?! The press made serious hay out of Costner's alleged dalliances, ahem, outside of the marriage in the early '90s, but Cindy -- an accomplished restaurateur in her own right -- was absolutely determined to hold her head high and make it work (you go girl). Alas, in, 1994, it was finally over. The details of the settlement were confidential, but Cindy walked out of the marriage a heck of a lot richer than she walked into it -- $80 million to be exact.
Kenny and Marianne Rogers
Singing legend Kenny Rogers knew when to fold 'em, but the pricetag was humongous. 'The Gambler' got lucky on the set of 'Hee Haw' one day where he met his fourth wife, actress Marianne Gordon. Marrying in 1977, Kenny and Marianne were 'Islands in the Stream' as it were, enjoying 16 years of wedded bliss. It all fell apart in 1993 and the couple divorced. Unlike other Hollywood splits, this one seemed to be on the pleasant side -- how can you stay mad at Kenny Rogers? Kenny gave Marianne $60 million and said she deserved every penny. Wow Kenny! That's a lot of roasted chicken!
James Cameron and Linda Hamilton
James Cameron and Linda Hamilton's marriage sunk after just 17 months. Cameron was no stranger to marital troubles, having been through divorce proceedings three times before. Although the terms of the settlement were kept confidential, Hamilton terminated Cameron's bank account to the tune $50 million. The union reportedly hit an iceberg named Suzy Amis, who starred in 'Titanic.' When on the red carpet at the Oscars, Hamilton's displeasure with her then husband's alleged wandering was evident. When asked about his ego following the enormous success of the film she said "He was always a jerk." Linda, tell us how your really feel. She took her
bitterness to the bank, not 'The Abyss.'