20 Celebrity Couples Whose Divorce Got Downright Ugly (PHOTOS)

Hollywood, the place that enchants millions with onscreen love stories, has also produced a fair share of offscreen marriage disasters. Few things are as acrimonious as a very public celebrity divorce filled with custody wars and serial cheating, but Tinseltown can sometimes seem as if it's chock-full of them.

Here are 20 of the nastiest, most sordid and expensive Hollywood divorces. They make staying single look really attractive.

 

Image © Splash News/Corbis

  • Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise (2006-2012)

    1

    They seemed a perfect pair. Katie Holmes gushed about how she'd hung posters of Tom Cruise on her walls as a kid and Cruise declared his love for her by jumping on Oprah's couch. But just a few years later, accounts say that Holmes meticulously planned her and daughter Suri's escape by secretly setting up legal residence in New York, then filing for divorce. The cause for the split? Allegedly Holmes's desire to keep the child out of Scientology.

  • Kim Kardashian & Kris Humprhies

    2

    After a lavish, televised wedding that cost a rumored $10 million, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries's marriage lasted 72 days. Their divorce? That lasted two years, as Humphries sought an annulment rather than divorce and accused Kardashian of everything from fraud to having an affair with Kanye West. 

  • Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegren

    3

    Divorces don't get much uglier than this: According to reports, Elin Nordegren learned that Tiger Woods was not only a cheater, but a serial cheater. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2009, she chipped his tooth with a cell phone and chased him out of their house with a golf club, smashing his Escalade's windows, according to reports. Her divorce settlement: $100 million — enough, perhaps, to make up for the humiliation.

  • Eddie Cibrian & Brandi Glanville

    4

    There's only one word to describe actor Eddie Cibrian and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville's divorce after a nine-year marriage: explosive. After he was busted cheating with singer LeAnn Rimes in an affair that broke up two marriages, Glanville disparaged both publicly, posted legal documents online showing that Cibrian wanted her to repay his child support, and spoke openly about her rage, including slashing his motorcycle tires. The divorce was finalized in 2010.

    More from The Stir: 20 Male Hollywood Stars Who Married Regular People (PHOTOS)

  • LeAnn Rimes & David Sheremet

    5

    After seven years of a seemingly golden marriage, LeAnn Rimes deep-sixed her relationship upon cheating with her Lifetime movie costar Eddie Cibrian, whom she later married. Horrified fans watched as Rimes went on high-profile dates and engaged in PDA with Cibrian, seemingly without regard for Sheremet, who felt blindsided. He demanded she take off her wedding ring and later called the divorce the "dumbest thing she could have done for her career." Ouch. 

  • Paul McCartney & Heather Mills

    6

    They set a new gold standard for nasty, slinging mud all the way up to the divorce settlement and beyond. Singing legend Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, who wed in 2002, split in 2008. Mills blamed it on McCartney's daughter, Stella, whom she called "evil." McCartney said Mills bugged his phone. Mills sought a $250 million settlement but got $48.6 million after the judge called her list of expenses (including $80,000 per year for wine) excessive. 

  • Usher & Tameka Foster

    7

    He acted as if he were still single. She was insecure about being married to a celebrity. Superstar Usher and Tameka Foster leveled accusations as their two-year marriage came to a close in 2009, with Usher getting custody of the couple's two sons after a bitter battle. They took up arms again in 2012, after their son Usher V nearly drowned in the singer's pool and Foster requested custody. She lost. 

  • Thomas & Nancy Beatie

    8

    After gaining fame as "the world's first pregnant man," Thomas Beatie went on to have three kids with his wife, Nancy. When he filed for separation (after videotaping her repeated violence against him and the kids), the divorce proceedings became byzantine. Arizona judges handling the case questioned the marriage's legal validity (Beatie was legally a man when the couple wed but still had female sex organs). Beatie was awarded sole custody in 2012, and the marriage was dissolved in 2014. 

    More from The Stir: 16 Celebrities Who Have Never Been Married (PHOTOS)

  • Kelsey & Camille Grammer

    9

    Camille Grammer once called her ex-husband, former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, "a total d*ck." He once said her stint on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was his "parting gift." Their split following a 14-year marriage came about after Camille learned her husband was cheating with a British flight attendant (his now fourth wife Kayte Walsh), who was also pregnant. The divorce was finalized in 2011 but it took two more years to settle custody and divide property. 

  • Liza Minnelli & David Gest

    10

    Their divorce following years of separation surprised exactly no one, since their 2002 marriage was a shock: Liza Minnelli was an aging Broadway star; he was the plastic surgery–addicted music promoter dogged by rumors he was gay. Their divorce was sordid: Gest accused Minnelli of exposing him to herpes and beating him during alcoholic rages; she accused him of stealing $2 million. They finally put lawsuits aside long enough to finalize a no-fault divorce in 2007.

  • Charlie Sheen & Denise Richards

    11

    This was the divorce that blew the lid off Charlie Sheen's vices. After splitting from the actor in 2003 following one year of marriage, Denise Richards filed a then-shocking declaration with courts, saying that the actor shoved her, threatened to kill her — leading to a restraining order — and was addicted to porn, hookers, and gambling. Richards gained full custody of their two daughters, but in the years since they have become friendly.

  • Burt Reynolds & Loni Anderson

    12

    They were together as one of Hollywood's golden couples for 12 years, including a five-year marriage. But beneath the surface, life was scary. That's how Loni Anderson described her time with Burt Reynolds, who she said he beat her and abused drugs. He, in turn, called her a cheater and a bad mother to their adopted son. Though their divorce was finalized in 1994, he paid her a final $155,000 of their divorce settlement in 2014.

    More from The Stir: Why Men Marry Some Women & Not Others: The 'Reasons' Will Shock You

  • Kate & John Gosselin

    13

    Reality TV actually lived up to its name when Kate and Jon Gosselin announced their separation on Jon and Kate Plus 8, in 2009. Though there were suspicions of infidelity on both sides, let's face it: Parenting eight kids leaves little room for romance. Jon would later describe the 10-year marriage as more of a "business transaction."

  • Christie Brinkley & Peter Cook

    14

    The model and the architect called it quits after it was revealed that Peter Cook had an affair with an 18-year-old, then tried to pay her off. Christie Brinkley then sued for custody of the couple's two kids, saying that Cook took his anger out on them, making him an unfit parent. She ultimately paid him $2.1 million in exchange for sole custody and retention of her 18 properties. The divorce was finalized in 2008. 

  • Hulk Hogan & Linda Bollea

    15

    The Hulk was put against the ropes when his wife of 25 years filed for divorce in 2007. Linda Bollea would later claim that he'd physically and mentally abused her during drug-fueled rages, which he denied. Both said the family's reality show, Hogan Knows Best, strained their union, and both claimed to be deeply depressed after their split.  

  • Alex & Cynthia Rodriguez

    16

    Extramarital affairs and "emotional abandonment" led Cynthia Rodriguez to file for divorce from New York Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, whose string of alleged flings included strippers and prostitutes who came forward. (One alleged fling was Madonna.) Cynthia walked away in 2008 with the couple's $12 million home, plus an undisclosed amount of cold, hard cash. 

    More from The Stir: 21 Celebrities Who've Adopted Kids

  • Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee

    17

    The fiery couple had a volatile three-year marriage, which ended in 1998, when Tommy Lee was carted off to jail for six months for assault, after he beat Pamela Anderson during a daylong fight at home. They traded insults publicly, with Anderson accusing Lee of giving her hepatitis C and Lee encouraging their two sons to call their mom a "freak." Somehow after the divorce, they reconciled twice before moving on.

  • Heidi Klum & Seal

    18

    German supermodel Heidi Klum called husband Seal's temper "volcanic" when she filed for divorce after seven years of marriage. He hit back, figuratively, calling her out for starting a relationship with her bodyguard soon after the separation, saying she "fornicated with the help." The divorce was finalized in 2012, and the two have since returned to friendly co-parenting.

  • Terrence Howard & Michelle Ghent

    19

    You have to wonder why some people even marry each other. Terrence Howard and Michelle Ghent accused each other of physical and verbal abuse during their nasty divorce. In court documents, Howard said she often called him racist epithets like "monkey" and "n*gger," hit him, and threatened to have "Russian friends" kill him. Ghent told courts Howard beat, strangled, and mule-kicked her during a fight while on vacation. Their divorce became final in 2015, with Howard keeping most of the couple's properties but being ordered to pay alimony for three years. 

  • Alec Baldwin & Kim Basinger

    20

    Together, their names are synonymous with the term "nasty divorce." Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin divorced in 2002, after nine tumultuous years of marriage. His temper and her "instability" contributed to the marriage's demise, according to reports, but it was their custody battle that would turn the separation vicious. Baldwin once called their 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, got her voice mail, and left a message calling her a "thoughtless little pig." He was court-ordered to attend anger management classes and accused Basinger of leaking the recording. They moved on to other partners but reunited recently to help Ireland through rehab — for emotional issues.

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