Love will conquer all … well, everything except a good divorce attorney. Hollywood marriages are as fleeting as the season’s fashion trends.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people prior to marriage where various terms including property distribution and spousal support are spelled out if the marriage ends in divorce. Prenups are often touted as “unromantic”—but then again, so is divorce. California, where many celebrity unions occur, is a community property state. That means any income earned during a marriage is divvied up 50/50. A prenuptial agreement can trump this law by spelling out how the property will be distributed in the event of a divorce.
With half of marriages ending in divorce, prenups make good economic sense. Despite the short-lived marital bliss, many celebrities have openly refused to sign a prenup. Most recently, before Hugh Hefner’s run-away-bride, called off the wedding, Hef said “we don’t need a damn prenup.” Apparently his 84 years and three failed marriages have not taught him much. Lucky for Hef, he averted disaster when his buxom 24-year old playmate-cum-fiance bailed.
While Hef has never been “husband material,” behold the seven other celebs that opted against prenups—some will surprise you.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
Despite DeGeneres’s purported $63 million net worth, she opted against a prenuptial agreement because prenups are not romantic. And divorce is?
Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold
Barr reportedly fired her attorney for suggesting that she have a prenup. After the marital bliss wore off and a bitter divorce ensued just four years later, the divorce settlement cost Barr $50 million. If it is any consolation, Arnold is forced to wear a Scarlet A: a tattooed headshot of Barr from the 90’s.
Despite seven previous marriages, King did not have a prenup with his eighth wife, Shawn Southwick. During the marriage, he allegedly cheated on Southwick with her sister. Shockingly, King patched up the marriage and avoided having to split his $144 million net worth with Southwick. As the saying goes, “it’s cheaper to keep her than leave her.”
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
Apparently if you love someone enough to give up your virginity, you also love them enough to give them a chunk of your fortune in a divorce. Simpson, who’s dad was involved in everything from her cup size to her career, failed to guide his daughter toward a prenup. Rumor has it that Joe Simpson believed that Lachey would out-earn his daughter making a prenup a bad business decision. When the couple divorced, Lachey refused the initial offer of $1.5 million and accepted an undisclosed amount that was “far less” than the $36 million she earned during the marriage. Lachey was the clear winner in this divorce: he no longer has to deal with the overbearing Joe Simpson and he upgraded to the hot Vanessa Minillo.
Kelsey Grammer and Camille
When Grammer announced his divorce to Camille (of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), the celebrity gossip mill uncovered that the pair did not have a prenup. A common theme in this post, this was Grammer’s third marriage. The couple was married for thirteen years. Grammer is currently engaged, and again, will not have a prenup.
His ex wife Robyn filed for divorce after 28 years of marriage (what took her so long?). During this quarter-century union, Gibson reportedly earned $900 million. Gibson did not have a prenup, making his $900 million estate fair game for a 50/50 split. The former pair have kept mum about the settlement amount.
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe
The two met on the set of Cruel Intentions and married shortly thereafter. Witherspoon began commanding $15 million per movie, while Phillipe’s career plummeted. After reports of Phillipe’s infidelity, they divorced. They did not have a prenup, which cost Witherspoon half of her fortune.
Then again, some celebs—shockingly—do have prenups.
Britney Spears and K-Fed
Before Spears shocked the world with a shaved head and umbrella fight, she was smart enough to have a prenup with her work-allergic ex husband, Kevin Federline. The prenup’s terms gave K-Fed a mere $500k of her then-estimated $64 million-a-year fortune. But the pop starlet doubled it to $1 million, which is chump change for her.
Kimmy K is better known for her bum than her business smarts. Kardashian is engaged to Kris Humphries after a brief six month courtship. Despite Kardashian’s seemingly flippant attitude, Kim openly declared that she will have a prenup. Glad to see that she was not blinded by the 20.5 carat bling of an engagement ring. Even though her Humphries is a professional basketball player, significant income disparities exist. In particular, Kardashian made an estimated $12 million in 2010 alone, while her fiance makes around $3.2 playing as a forward for the New Jersey Nets. The prenup’s terms provide that Kardashian will keep everything she makes during the marriage and that she will not pay him anything if they divorce.
This Kardashian raced to the alter after dating Lamar Odom for a month. The two ironed out a marital agreement that provides Khloe with a pretty sweet deal if they divorce: $500,000 for every year they were married, $25,000 in general support, their house, a new luxury vehicle at the end of every lease cycle, $5,000 per month for shopping, $1,000 a month for beauty care, and Lakers tickets for Kardashians friends and family. Not bad.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Urban’s battle with addiction is pretty well-known. In their prenup, Urban will get $640k as long as he stays off the sauce. If he relapses and the pair divorce, he gets nothing. Just say NO Keith!
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
This shit-show duo appeared doomed from the start. Richards, clearly knowing the nature of the beast … er troll, added a clause in their prenup awarding her an additional $4 million if Sheen was unfaithful. That clause almost does not seem fair—as more an inevitable occurrence than a chance slip-up. #notwinning