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The Biggest Divorces of the 1990s

The Biggest Divorces of the 1990s
Photo Credit: Cover story People Magazine

Love is great -- until it isn’t anymore. The 1990s saw many celebrities and millionaires fall in and out of love, with their multi-million, and sometimes multi-billion-dollar settlements abundantly discussed in the tabloids. From prenups to infidelity and valuable stock divisions, the ‘90s have a lot to teach us regarding high-net-worth divorces.

1992 Donald Trump vs. Ivana Trump

Back when Ivana and Donald got married, the last thing on his mind was probably becoming president of the United States. Trump’s first wife was reportedly very good at business, something she proved by negotiating a $25 million settlement when the couple divorced, in spite of having signed a very disadvantageous prenup. Donald started dating his next wife, Marla Maples, before the split, a card Ivana played to her advantage.  

1993 Ted Danson vs. Casey Coates

Beloved comedian Ted Danson married Casey Coates, a producer, in the late ‘70s. They went through a difficult time when Coates had a stroke as she was giving birth to their first child. While Danson supported her through a complicated period of her life, he eventually was unfaithful, with none other than fellow comedian Whoopi Goldberg, This led to the couple’s divorce, which resulted in a $30 million settlement for Coates.

1994 Kevin Costner vs. Cindy Silva

Costner married his university sweetheart in 1978. However, when he became one of Hollywood’s biggest male stars, the marriage suffered, and they called it quits in 1994. Silva walked away with $80 million.

1995 Michael Douglas vs. Diandra Luker

The Wall Street star spent 32 years of his life married to Diandra Luker. After their divorce in 1995, the family man quickly developed a playboy reputation. Luker received $45 million, and Douglas eventually married Hollywood bombshell Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he has two teenage children.

1996 Neil Diamond vs. Marcia Murphy

Neil Diamond and TV producer Marcia Murphy had a 25-year-long marriage before they decided to part ways in 1996. Rumor has it that the singer was unfaithful. Judging from the sizable, $150 million settlement received by Murphy, the stories may well have been true.

1997 Craig McCaw vs. Wendy McCaw

A visionary of the then incipient mobile phone industry, Craig McCaw divorced newspaper publisher Wendy McCaw in 1997. High-net-worth divorce often involves the split of complex assets. In this case, McCaw received over $460 million worth of his former husband’s Nextel stock.

1998 Rupert Murdoch vs. Anna Mann

The media mogul met Anna Mann at News Corporation, a company he founded. They had a lengthy, 31-year marriage, but even good things must end, and they divorced in 1998. Mann received a $100-million settlement.

1999 James Cameron vs. Linda Hamilton

One of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors of all time, Cameron developed a crush on actress Linda Hamilton during the shooting of his iconic movie, “Terminator”. They were in a relationship for a few years before getting married in 1997. Sadly, the marriage only lasted until 1999, apparently because Cameron’s wandering eye had led him astray. The beloved actress received a $50 million settlement.

1999 Mick Jagger vs. Jerry Hall

One of the most iconic couples of the ‘90s, top model Jerry Hall and the enduring music star got married in 1990. Jagger was a known ladies man, and after rumors of repeated infidelity, Hall divorced him in 1999, receiving around $20 million.

1999 Alec Wildenstein vs. Jocelyn Wildenstein  $3.8 billion

One of the most expensive divorces of the decade, and the costliest of that year was that of entrepreneur and art dealer Alec Wildenstein in 1999. He and his wife Jocelyn had been married for over 20 years. It was a lucrative 20 years for Alec’s ex, who received a staggering $2.5 billion plus $100 million annually for the next 13 years.  


Related topics: High Net Worth Divorce (54)

Dror Bikel

Dror Bikel is a Manhattan-based divorce and child custody lawyer. He founded and leads Bikel and Schanfield, New York’s best-known firm for high-conflict matrimonial disputes.

As founding partner of the Manhattan-based firm, Bikel & Schanfield, LLP, Dror Bikel’s 20+ years of trial and litigation experience offers invaluable insight in facilitating settlements, mediating disputes and obtaining superior results for his clients. A recipient of the New York Super Lawyers Award, Mr. Bikel is voted among the Top 5% New York State Family Law Attorneys.

To connect with Dror: 212.682.6222 or [hidden email] or online
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To learn more about Dror's book The 1% Divorce: When Titans

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