Divorce is not a pretty subject – it’s painful enough to go through one let alone having outsiders discuss what went wrong with YOUR marriage.
So spare a thought for celebrities who have to deal with having their dirty laundry aired for the whole world to criticise.
However, sometimes it’s just too difficult to ignore alleged details of just exactly what went on behind closed doors between your favourite celebrity marriage.
And it’s even harder to ignore when said celebrity is the one releasing details about how terrible their apparent wedded bliss actually was.
The former Spice Girls claims in court papers that she was the victim of ‘multiple physical beatings’ and that her ex threatened to destroy her career by releasing a sex tape.
She also claims he punched her in the face and split her lip while she was working on Australia’s version of the The X Factor in 2012.
And Mel also alleges that her estranged husband assaulted her after she performed with the Spice Girls at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
Now with Mel’s sister, Danielle Brown also laying into her estranged brother-in-law, calling him a ‘psychopath’, Stephen’s lawyers insists the claims are ‘nothing more than a smear campaign’.
‘It’s a shame that Ms Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter,’ they say.
‘In due course, Mr Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms Brown, allegations which he vehemently denies.’
So with no doubt months, if not years, of battle in the courtroom ahead of them, we take a look back at six of the nastiest celebrity divorces.
6. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
After 12 years, two of those married, of what appeared to be an enviably happy relationship, Angelina Jolie shocked us all when she dropped divorce papers on Brad Pitt in September 2016.
But what was most shocking was the reason behind the split, with one of her lawyers claiming it was ‘for the health of the family.’
The Tomb Raider actress had the FBI and the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services investigate Pitt on charges of child abuse against his 15-year-old son, Maddox, on a private flight.
Reports then surfaced that Pitt allegedly had a terrible temper and issues with drugs and alcohol.
However, after much negative press, the former couple reached an agreement to handle their divorce in a private forum, keeping future details of their split confidential by using a private judge.
To date, no settlement has been reached.
5. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
They surprised everyone when they tied the knot in February 2015 after meeting on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011.
But just under 18 months later, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp called it quits on their marriage and what followed was a bitter battle.
Heard accused Depp of domestic abuse – a claim he denies – alleging he had been physically abusive to her, culminating in him throwing a mobile phone at her face during a fight in February last year.
Depp’s lawyer hit back, denying the allegations, saying Heard was ‘attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse’.
She even filed for a restraining order against her estranged husband.
The former couple managed to settle their differences in January this year, with Heard dropping the restraining order after terms of their divorce were settled.
The Danish Girl actress was awarded £5.6 million – which she claimed she would donate to two charities – custody of their dogs Pistol and Boo, and a horse called Arrow.
While Depp retained sole possession of real estate assets, including properties in LA, Paris and his private island in the Bahamas.
4. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Just five days before his fiftieth birthday in 2012, Katie Holmes dropped the bombshell that she was divorcing Tom Cruise.
After first getting together in 2006 and Cruise declaring his love with an embarrassing display of jumping on Oprah’s couches, their love was no more.
With Cruise admitting he was ‘blindsided’ by the sudden split, their parting appeared to be reasonably smooth with a quickie divorce granted and Holmes awarded $400,000 a year in child support.
But a later lawsuit between Cruise and Bauer Media revealed that one of the reasons Holmes filed for divorce was to ensure that their daughter Suri was not involved with Scientology, the controversial religion that Cruise believes in.
It was also alleged that Holmes ended their marriage because she feared she would end up like Cruise’s ex-wife, Nicole Kidman – with a daughter who Scientology turned against her.
It is now believed that the pair only talk with matters regarding their daughter.
3. Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
He once said that his marriage to Heather Mills was the ‘prime contender’ for being his worst mistake of the last decade.
After a four-year marriage, Sir Paul McCartney divorced Mills in 2008 after a nasty battle which saw her accuse him of emotional and physical abuse.
This lead to damning reports and rumours surfacing about Mills as well, most notably allegations that she had once been a call girl.
But it was Mills’ reputation that was left in tatters after the judge presiding over the divorce accused her of ‘make-belief’.
Mr Justice Bennett said she was a ‘less than impressive witness’ during the six-day hearing and had proved to be her ‘own worst enemy’ by making claims for a settlement which were ‘ridiculous’.
Mills had sought £125 million from the former Beatles star, but was awarded just a fifth of that figure – £24.3 million.
2. Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
The fact that the divorce proceedings lasted longer than the actual marriage is a sign of a not-so-happy-ending.
While their August 2011 wedding ceremony was a lavish, fairytale affair, it all came crashing down for Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries – who split just 72 days after exchanging vows.
Using Hollywood’s favourite excuse, Kim filed for divorce, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’, which reportedly came as a crushing blow to her then-hubby.
But the mood soon turned sour with Kris filing a request for an annulment of the marriage, rather than a divorce.
He claimed that their marriage was a fraud, designed to boost the ratings of Kim’s reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, rather than a ceremony meant to join two lovebirds in matrimony.
The divorce took a back seat when Kim started dating Kanye West, with reports that Kris was allegedly deliberately stalling to disrupt Kim’s new romance.
Fast-forward two years and many skipped court appearances from Kris, a pregnant Kim – who was expecting daughter North West – finally got her divorce in April 2013.
- Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi
After photos emerged of art dealer Charles Saatchi appearing to choke his then-wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, outside a London restaurant, divorce soon followed.
While Saatchi downplayed the incident, Lawson’s reps declined to comment and in 2013 the couple were granted their preliminary divorce after a hearing lasting only seventy seconds.
According to reports, Saatchi filed for divorce from his wife of 10 years after she failed to defend him in public following the publication of pictures.
But there were no ludicrous payouts for either party – with Lawson simply taking the contents of her kitchen in the divorce.
Their split came at a tricky time in Lawson’s life too as she was embroiled in a lawsuit with her former assistants who accused her of being a drug addict.
- Domestic violence expert weighs in on Mel B’s claims of abuse
- Angelina Jolie underwent random drugs test in the set of Tomb Raider