It seems there’s something in the water in Hollywood with divorce after divorce hitting the news. Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker. Pete Wentz and Ashley Simpson. Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson . Those are just a few of the more recent splits that come to mind, but the list is actually much, much longer. The same thing always happens when a celebrity divorce is announced – the public waits with baited breath for it to get ugly.
For every Loni Anderson/Burt Reynolds split (the first nasty celebrity split I really remember) there is a Sandra Bullock/Jesse James split where everything is settled quietly and quickly. That doesn’t stop us from secretly hoping for fireworks when a new celebrity divorce is announced. Perhaps its human nature. Regardless, we always expect the drama, even when no drama comes. When you consider the history of celebrity divorces, though, it isn’t hard to understand why.
There are already rumblings that the Pete Wentz/Ashlee Simpson divorce is going to get messy; especially regarding custody of their son, Bronx. Will it be one of the nastiest celebrity divorces ever? I sincerely doubt it. They have some pretty stiff competition in that area. Let’s take a look back at the top five nastiest celebrity divorces in history.
05: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
And things seemed so good for these two crazy kids. They even appeared on ‘The Simpsons’ together. When they split, things got nasty in a hurry with Kim claiming emotional and physical abuse and Alec (well, technically Alec’s brother, Billy) claiming Kim is a ‘nutcase’. The real conflict centered around custody of their daughter, Ireland.
While Alec and Kim initially agreed to shared custody of their daughter, Kim allegedly violated that agreement by refusing to hand over the girl for an scheduled visit. Things got even worse when a damning phone message leaked to the press on which Alec can be heard ranting and raving; even calling the girl a ‘pig’. Alec accused Kim of leaking the tape (she denied it) but eventually a new deal was struck. Although there are still occasional flare ups in this heated situation, all has been quiet on the Baldwin/Basinger front since 2008.
04: Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
While Alec came out looking like the bad guy in his divorce from Kim Basinger, things turned out much differently in the McCartney/Mills divorce. Heather Mills tried to tarnish the name of Sir Paul – a living legend – and the press ate her alive for it. That isn’t to say she didn’t deserve it. Heather didn’t really help herself with many insane allegations made on the public stage. Yes, she came off looking like an opportunistic, gold digging nutter. I’m not sure that’s an inaccurate picture.
Heather lobbed allegations of mental, physical and drug abuse on Paul’s part, but pretty much the entire world came to Paul’s defense. At one point during the court proceedings, Mills poured water all over one of Paul’s divorce lawyers. One can’t help thinking Paul was secretly smiling at that point; thanking Mills for proving that she is, in fact, the nutjob she was insisting she wasn’t. In the end, Mills was awarded $48.7 million dollars. Pretty big sum of money, but far, far less than she was asking. Considering Paul was worth an estimated $800 million at the time, one can assume Paul was okay with giving up a little of that money to be rid of this ‘woman’ for good.
03: Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson
This was really the first celebrity divorce I was old enough to remember. It was all over the news and all over the tabloids with lots of mud flying back and forth. In truth, it sort of seems pale by today’s standards. Regardless, I toyed with giving Jon and Kate Gosselin in the third spot on this list because theirs was definitely a messy divorce, but I just can’t bring myself to refer to them as celebrities. Anyway, the allegations that Burt hurled at Loni throughout the divorce proceedings are just downright shocking – regardless of the times. Some of the highlights (lowlights, maybe?):
- Loni spent $10,000 a month on clothes, $500 a month on her nails and $600 a month on her hair
- Loni sunbathed in the buff to attract construction workers who were hired to build a guest house on Burt and Loni’s property
- Loni had sex on a table in a Mexican restaurant during a wrap party
- Loni forced Burt to spend $5,000 on dinnerware for a ‘casual’ dinner party because she ‘hated the plates they had”
The truth? Well, it’s a he said/she said situation with Loni flat out denying most of the allegations. She does cop to the dinnerware incident although she tells the story a bit differently; claiming Burt wanted to throw a formal dinner party and their fine china had not been unpacked after a move. The dinnerware they had was mismatched and chipped – hardly formal. She did purchase new plates but claims the total bill was nowhere near the $5,000 Burt claims. Regardless, this split was a hot mess and definitely deserves a spot on this list.
02. David Cook and Christy Brinkley
You can’t have a nasty celebrity divorce list without this fantastic spectacle of a mess. The saddest part of this story, though, is the fact that’s not over yet. Following an epic divorce battle, Christy tried to get a restraining order against David after he did an interview with Barbra Walters in an attempt to clear his name. Sorry, David – nothing you can do or say can clear your name. Why? Let’s look at some of the allegations that were made it court:
- David had an affair with his 18 year old assistant
- David spent $3,000 a month on online porn
- David leeched off Christy while being a porn addicted, cheating sleazeball.
David admitted to the affair and the porn. That alone makes his a pretty big dirt bag. His attempts to slam Christy in response? Well, he accused Christy of:
- Copying his hard drive
- Scratching his face out of family pictures
- Ransacking his office
Christy admitted to these things. I have to say, I think she was fairly justified in her anger. The biggest upset about this was that after all of the things this lecherous pervert admitted to, he still walked away with $2 million out of Christy’s bank account. The upside, she got full custody of the children and was able to keep all 18 of their homes. I still think its ridiculous he got any money at all. I’ve only seen one celebrity divorce get nastier and boy, it was a doozy.
01: Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
Charlie Sheen. What can one even say about Charlie Sheen that hasn’t been said? Before he was winning at every turn, sipping tiger blood and challenging his bosses to fights, Charlie was married to Denise Richards. They had two children. They split up. Things got so nasty, I’m not sure I can adequately cover all of the drama in this little blurb. I could probably do an entire top ten post dedicated entire to the messed up allegations thrown around in this split but I’m not sure even that would be enough. Richards accused Charlie of:
- Cheating on her
- Being addicted to drugs, pornography and hookers
- Being abusive
The world responded with what has become a sort of catch phrase of Charlie’s (one of many) – “Duh!” Seriously, it’s not like Charlie doesn’t have a well documented history of being loony tunes. He shot Kelly Preston… by accident, no less. I’m sorry, Denise. It’s a little hard to believe you didn’t know what you were getting into. I, of course, feel a huge amount of sympathy for any victims of domestic violence but the drugs, the porn, the hookers and the general slutitude couldn’t have been a huge surprise.
Charlie’s response was every bit as juvenile as would be expected from Charlie Sheen. He send abusive and disgusting voice mails and e-mails. While the divorce was eventually settled, the battle over custody of their children has never really come to a close. I respect the way Denise has handles Charlie’s very public meltdown, but this divorce will always been seen as the standard by which all nasty divorces are measured. “Sure our divorce as nasty, but it wasn’t Denise and Charlie nasty.” That will be a thing. Just wait.