The Five Worst Celebrity Divorces in Hollywood History

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Happily Never After

By Matrimonial Law Attorney Jacqueline Newman

Divorce itself is pretty tough, but to go through it while the whole world is watching is even tougher. There have been some really messy and public celebrity divorces over the years. Some have gotten messy due to a long custody battle. Others have been dramatic due to allegations of abuse. Sadly, almost all of these situations have resulted in fans taking sides and trying to figure out who was to blame for the separation:

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

The Starship Troopers actress filed for divorce in 2006 after four years of marriage. Richards said the Two and a Half Men actor would often pay for prostitutes, gambled, and was allegedly addicted to drugs. A judge granted a restraining order, requiring Sheen to stay 300 feet away from Richards, her home, and their daughters. The order was extended several times and the divorce took a long time due to the custody battle.

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Amber Heard and Johnny Depp

News of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s divorce started off suspiciously, given that they were married for only 15 months. After Heard filed, things got nasty quickly with her claiming he was abusive, which pushed her to get a restraining order against him. She also tried to get a restraining order for her dogs, however the judge didn’t grant it.

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Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

The married couple of five years made headlines for the first time when the golf player crashed his SUV in 2010. After the news broke, Tiger Woods’ multiple affairs were revealed. About 15 mistresses were named in the press, and Woods reportedly admitted to sleeping with 120 women. The divorce was settled later that year with Nordegren reportedly getting $100 million, according to TMZ.

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Liza Minnelli and David Gest

The married couple didn’t just get divorced, they sued each other! Gest sued Minnelli for $10 million for assault. He claimed she would beat him while drunk, which allegedly led to him being hospitalized for five days and getting nerve damage. Minnelli counter sued and claimed that Gest stole $2 million from her, according to The Washington Post. In the end, they dropped the lawsuits and had their divorce settled in 2007.

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Madonna and Sean Penn

The couple were married for only three years before Madonna filed for divorce in 1989. This wasn’t the first time either. They filed for divorce in 1978 not long after Penn was sent to prison, but this was later nullified. There were many reports that their relationship was volatile and even violent.

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About Jacqueline Newman

Jacqueline Newman is a New York City based divorce lawyer and experienced NY matrimonial law expert. As managing partner of a top tier 5th Avenue Manhattan law firm focused exclusively on divorce, her practice runs the gamut from prenups for high net worth people contemplating marriage to high conflict matrimonial litigation in dissolutions involving complex financial assets and difficult custody issues. She is the Author of " Soon-to-Be Ex: A Woman's Guide to Her Perfect Divorce and Relaunch" & Soon-to-Be Ex for Men: Preserving Wealth, Fatherhood, and Sanity during Divorce