Celebrity Cheaters and their Big Divorces
Division of assets Infidelity not only destroys marriages -- it can also supersize a divorce settlement.
Just ask Stacy D. Phillips, founder and managing partner of the Los Angeles family law firm Phillips, Lerner and Lauzon and author of "Divorce: It's All About Control." Her firm has represented the ex-spouses of Whitney Houston, Axl Rose, Tori Spelling, LeAnn Rimes and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
"Certainly infidelity changes it emotionally," says Phillips. "Where what might have been a divorce in which people had a little bit of trust and didn't feel like they had to turn over every rock, when there's infidelity they don't trust anything and are much more aggressive in looking at things."
The division of assets -- bank accounts, homes, cars, etc. -- is just the beginning. "You can lose your kids, and there's no price tag for that," says Phillips. "And depending on your field, you can lose your livelihood and your endorsements if you have a clause in your contract that holds you to a higher standard. Studios and ball teams don't want to be embarrassed."
Spurned spouses of high-profile philanderers may win a percentage of future earnings. "I once represented the wife of an actor who did a movie and was paid a minimal amount, and that movie became a big hit," she says. "He was the (main) character, therefore the movie needed him, and there was movie two, three, four (and so on)."
The spouse can even receive reimbursement for money their spouse spent on the affair.
"I've had clients who've had two families," says Phillips. "Reimbursement could go as far as years of support -- a house, car and expenses for raising and schooling a secret child or children."
If the cheater is found to have breached their fiduciary duty to their spouse, punitive damages may also be granted.
"There's nothing typical; each one is a little different," says Phillips. "Some just want to walk away and I tell them, 'in six months, are you going to be able to look in the mirror?' But some people say, 'I want to take you to the cleaners!'"
Here's a look at unions that were torn apart by cheating.
Donald and Ivana: Trumps are wild The celebrity cheater: Donald Trump, New York real estate tycoon.
The other woman: Marla Maples, Georgia beauty queen and aspiring actress.
What was gained: Maples became a celebrity and bankable Broadway actress ("The Will Rogers Follies") thanks to her high-profile relationship with the real estate mogul from 1988 until Trump divorced first wife Ivana in 1992. Trump and Maples married and had daughter Tiffany (not in that order) the following year, separated in 1997 and divorced in 1999. Maples received $2 million as part of a prenuptial agreement, plus child support.
In the bigger picture, the media heat that surrounded the affair arguably elevated Trump's public profile from prickly multimillionaire to enduring celebrity, paving the way for the 2004 debut of "The Apprentice," his successful reality TV franchise. Ivana launched her own empire, which includes fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, bestselling novels and a reality show, "Ivana Young Man."
What it cost: Divorcing Ivana cost Donald a rumored $20 million, the couple's $14 million Connecticut estate, half of their Mar-a-Lago manse in Florida, $350,000 annual alimony and child support for their three children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.
Tiger and Elin Woods finish in the rough The celebrity cheater: Tiger Woods, high-profile professional golfer.
The other woman: Numerous.
What was gained: Zip. Zilch. Nada. There have been no winners and plenty of losers since Thanksgiving 2009, when Woods backed his SUV badly out of his Orlando, Fla., mansion and straight into tabloid hell. Tiger's public confession of numerous affairs and a stint in rehab did little to repair his marriage or contain the damage.
What it cost: Does "everything" sound about right? For starters, his divorce from wife Elin reportedly cost Woods $100 million, two Florida homes, an apartment and $2.2 million estate in Sweden, plus physical custody of daughter, Sam, and son, Charlie. There's also the $22 million in lost endorsement deals with Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture (though he retained Nike and Gillette).
Last but not least, there's his golf game. In 2009, the last PGA tour before the scandal, Woods won six tournaments, earned $10.5 million and placed first in the FedExCup standings. The following year, he finished in the top 10 twice, earned $1.3 million and fell to 112th in the FedExCup standings.
Then again, with a net worth estimated at $500 million, Tiger won't starve.
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