Divorce is not a pleasant experience for anyone, but if you’re a big sports star with a fat wallet, this part of life can sting…a lot. Many sports stars had to make huge pay-offs to their exes once their marriages came to an end. But which public divorces came out with the biggest checks? Here are just a few top most expensive divorces in sports history.
Shaquille O’Neal and Shaunie O’Neal
This huge basketball star (huge both literally and metaphorically) was smart when marrying his ex because he decided to ask Shaunie to sign a prenup agreement. So, when his wife of nine years filed papers and asked for divorce due to infidelity, it didn’t leave a huge dent in this massive wealth (reported net worth over $400 million). Still, as he reveals in his autobiography ‘Shaq Uncut: My Story’, Shaquille and his ex settled on a pretty sweet deal for her. He continues to pay Shaunie over $10,000 per month on spousal maintenance and $10,000 on maintenance of their four kids.
Mike Tyson and Robin Givens
This whirlwind romance was doomed to end up in failure. Just eight months after their first date, Iron Mike was standing at the altar waiting for his bride. However, after a year of being married to Tyson, Givens filed for divorce and accused the heavyweight champ of violent outbursts. According to LA Times, he even said that Mike threatened to kill her. As payment for their one year of turbulent marriage, Robin received over 10 million dollars.
James and Carys Courtney
This Australian V8 star went through a tough divorce that cost him not only a lot of money but also his dream property with a 4-car garage and ton of parking for all his four-wheeled pets. He had to sell his house with a $200,000 discount. With this divorce, Australian ‘no-fault divorce’ policy once again became the discussion of many news, but it’s nothing an experienced family lawyer in Sydney can’t handle. Their divorce went smoothly, but Carys left the marriage with a nice sum of money.
Lance and Kristin Armstrong
Before his legal battles against accusations of doping and his divorce diminished his wealth, Lance Armstrong was worth well over $100 million. After one year of courting, Kristin and Lance were married and soon had three children. But, in 2003 (the same year the disgraced cyclist started dating singer Sheryl Crow) the couple announced their divorce. According to his biography, the ordeal cost Lance around £15million.
Hulk and Linda Hogan
WWE star Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) said his I-dos in 1983 and married Linda Claridge. However, after cheating allegations, the couple divorced in 2009 with a lengthy court battle. In the settlement, Lindy won 70% of their liquid assets (valued at around $8mil). She also won a multi-million property settlement and received 40% ownership of Hulk’s companies. Not bad!
Alex Rodrigues and Cynthia Scurtis
Baseball legend Alex Rodrigues was always beloved among ladies. In 2002, he married Cynthia Scurtis after they met at a Miami gym, but just 5 years later, she filed for divorce quoting emotional abandonment of her and their two children and various marital misconducts. While the press doesn’t know exact details of the settlement, Cynthia won a $14mil mansion and walked away with an equitable split of assets.
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
This is probably one of the most controversial divorces and scandals in recent sports history. Golf legend Tiger Woods ruined his marriage and reputation with a series of infidelity allegations. After a car crash in front of their house, Elin chased the champion from the property after catching him text his mistresses. This divorce cost Tiger over $80mil, but his biggest losses came from many dropped endorsements.
Michael and Juanita Jordan
Michael Jordan is probably the biggest name in basketball history and his divorce was equally impressive, but for all the wrong reasons. After the couple met in a Chicago restaurant, they soon got married in Vegas in 1989. In 2002, Juanita filed for divorce, but the couple announced that they will try to repair their relationship. This didn’t work, and she received a $168 million divorce settlement, the biggest settlement in American sports history.
Roman and Irina Abramovich
What follows is one of the world’s most expensive divorces. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch, managed to organize a quick divorce from his first wife Irina with whom he had five kids. The settlement left Irina richer for at least four homes (including an £18million estate in West Sussex) and a large cash sum of money. When everything is put on paper, it’s estimated that this divorce left Roman lighter for somewhere between £1billion to £2billion!
When you’re marrying a big name, you can expect big profits if they ever do you wrong. So be careful with prenups and be smart when choosing a partner. A mistake might cost you millions!
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home improvement, DIY and interior design. In her free time she enjoys reading and preparing healthy meals for her family.