After 27 years of marriage, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, 65, and his wife Melinda Gates, 56, created a flutter around the world when they announced their divorce saying they have given it “a great deal of thought”.
The two said they will, however, continue to work together on philanthropic issues through their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
With an estimated $130 billion in assets, the couple will surely be among the top contenders to be ranked for the costliest divorces ever and join other billionaire couples who ended their marriage. The terms of separation have not been disclosed yet.
Here’s a list of five of the most expensive divorces ever:
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott
In July 2019, the billionaire Amazon founder and his wife announced their split after 25 years of marriage. But the divorce made MacKenzie Scott the third-richest woman in the world. Till date, this split is deemed as the costliest divorce ever as Bezos had to part with $36 billion of his wealth. In March this year, Scott remarried a Seattle science teacher.
Jocelyn and Alec Wildenstein
This was the priciest divorce settlement of the 1990s, which gave Jocelyn Wildenstein, known by her plastic surgery moniker “Catwoman”, $2.5 billion settlement, a massive amount at that time. But she likely ran out of the fortune and filed for bankruptcy in 2018. The split turned ugly after Jocelyn found her billionaire art dealer husband, Alec Wildenstein, cheating on her.
Elon and Justine Musk
After their courtship since college, the billionaire Tesla CEO was married to Justin Musk for eight years until 2008 and had six children together. Musk has described how they share joint custody of their children. He said he foots the bills for the children’s nannies and also sends Justine $20,000 per month post-tax. In addition to giving her their Bel Air home, he claimed the split cost him $170,000 average monthly legal bills.
Elon Musk divorced actress Talulah Riley twice. The first time he split from Riley in 2012, she walked away with $4.2 million. But they reconciled and married again a year later. Mr Musk again filed for divorce from her in 2015 and agreed to a $16 million settlement, according to the New York Post.
Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone
The former Formula 1 boss divorced from the Croatian Armani model after 24 years of marriage in 2009. No details of their settlement have been available but Bernie Ecclestone is believed to have paid around $1.2 billion to his ex-wife, the Sun reported.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
The golf legend met the Swedish model at the 2001 Open Championship and they married three years later in Barbados. In 2009, however, the marriage broke after reports of Tiger Woods having an affair with a nightclub manager. Elin Nordegren divorced Woods a year later for a reported $110 million.
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