The red-tops love a bit of it. The tabloid papers have been having a field day with the latest celebrity divorce, the court case between Sir Paul and Heather (Mills) McCartney. The former Beatle didn't do as badly as was expected, having to hand over £24.3 million of his fortune. Mills had asked for £125 million (including property and the £500,000 she has spent since their split, plus an annual payment for their daughter Beatrice). She was obviously not happy. Report suggest she threw a carafe of water over Sir Paul's lawyer.
Her reputation hasn't come out very well either. Despite just four year of marriage to a British icon making her a very rich woman she lost the appeal to stop details of the case being made public. Having defended herself after her legal team walked out, the press are going to have a field day picking over the finer details. *
Nearly £24 million is a hefty amount but it's not the biggest divorce settlement in history.
Biggest celebrity divorces:
- £80 million approx. - Michael and Juanita Jordan - after 19 years of marriage the former basketball star divorce settlement cost him $168 million. Juanita's final severance package also includes the Jordans' seven-acre estate in Chicago and custody of their three children.
- £75.5 million - Singer Neil Diamond and Marcia Murphy - Neil said Marcia "deserved every penny she received" after the payout to the woman he married before he rose to stardom.
- £50 million - Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving - a prenuptial agree written on a napkin was deemed unsuitable, costing the director half of his fortune
- £41 million - Kevin Costner, the actor, and Sindy Silva
- £30 million - Kenny Rogers, the singer, and his wife Marriane
- £25 million - James Cameron, the director, and Linda Hamilton, the actress
- £24.3 million - Sir Paul McCartney and Lady McCartney
- £23 million - Michael Douglas, the actor, and his first wife Diandra
- £15 million - Ted Danson, the actor, and Casey Coates
- £7.5 to £12.5 million - Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall
Had Chelsea owner Roman Albromovich conducted his divorce, from his wife Irina ,in this country it would have top the list of divorce settlements in Britain. The package included £155 million, property in Britain and Moscow, a private plane and yacht. It made her the 41st richest woman in Britain.
The highest payout in Britain was by insurance magnate John Charman. He paid his wife Beverley £48 million in 2006 including £8 in assets after 30 years or marriage, when neither were rich. They had two children. This was 37% of Charman's fortune.
All this money and they couldn't work it out.
*Update: The Judge's report, published today, described Heather Mills as "less than candid" in her evidence to court and a "less than impressive witness" and accused her of "make-belief". I think she got a very good settlement if this is the case. See The Times report here.