Who holds the record for the most expensive divorce of all time? If you had asked me yesterday, I probably would have said Rupert Murdoch. Back in 1999, Rupert paid his ex-wife of 32 years, Anna, a settlement valued at $1.7 billion. But I wouldn’t have been 100% certain that Rupert’s settlement was actually the largest of all time because we never found out the exact final amount that Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid to his ex-wife Elena. At one point a Swiss court ordered Dmitry to pay Elana $4.5 billion, which was 50% of the value of his fertilizer business. After seven years of fighting, Dmitry and Elena ultimately settled on undisclosed terms, likely far less than $4.5 billion. Was it more than $1.7 billion? Enough to claim the record for most expensive in history? We may never know. But thanks to some news today, Dmitry’s settlement amount doesn’t matter in terms of records. Jeff Bezos is about to absolutely obliterate all divorce settlement records probably for the rest of history.
Jeff Bezos is the richest person on the planet with a net worth of $136 billion. This morning Jeff and his wife of 25 years MacKenzie announced that they are getting divorced. In a shared statement, the couple explained:
“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends…”
It’s not totally clear how much this is going to cost Mr. Bezos, but it certainly will not be cheap and it almost certainly will obliterate all divorce records.
They have been married for 25 years, since 1993. Crucially, that’s one year BEFORE Jeff founded Amazon. As such, it’s basically inarguable that MacKenzie is entitled to 50% of Jeff’s Amazon stake and everything else they have acquired as a couple over the last two decades. Jeff’s 16% stake in Amazon comprises roughly 95% of his $136 billion net worth. The remaining 5% comes from stakes in other companies, including an early stake in Google that is worth around $1 billion.
Had Jeff founded Amazon 10 years before he met MacKenzie, perhaps he would have been able to make the case that she would not be entitled to half of his empire. But even if that were true, she would still be entitled to half the value of any assets and income that were earned and acquired during their marriage as a result of that empire. For example under this scenario if Jeff sold a billion dollars worth of stock to buy homes and jets and other businesses, MacKenzie would be entitled to half the value of those assets. Just not half the value of Jeff’s Amazon stake. But that’s clearly not the case here!
For example, when TV super-producer Dick Wolf divorced his second wife Christine, he had to pay her half the value of Law & Order because the show was created during their marriage. Fast forward two decades and Dick is now divorcing his third wife Noelle. Dick and Noelle married after his TV career was launched so she is definitely not be entitled to half the value of the TV empire. She’ll still get tons and tons of money. Just not insane mega money.
MacKenzie Bezos will get insane mega bananas bonkers ridiculous money. Potentially $60 – 70 billion. If she gets exactly half of Jeff’s current $136 billion net worth, $68 billion, she’ll instantly rank as the 5th richest person on the planet.
Source: Celebrity Net Worth