Billionaire marriage break-ups

Billionaire marriage break-ups BLOG  Friday 22nd October 2021


Billionaire marriage break-ups

Sorry they are all American.

1. Bill and Melinda Gates

After 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates have finalised their divorce. As Bill Gates is the world’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $131.1 billion (£94.1bn) according to Forbes, and together they co-chair one of the biggest charitable funds in the world, many have speculated as to how their finances will be divided up. In a joint petition for the dissolution of their marriage, the couple said they have already reached an agreement on how to divide their assets, and Bill Gates’ investment vehicle Cascade Investment transferred $2.4 billion (£1.7bn) of securities to Melinda back in May.

But while the break-up of one of tech’s most high-profile couples might have shocked some, Bill and Melinda Gates’ separation is by no means the first billion-dollar divorce to hit the headlines – click or scroll through to discover five of the biggest publicly disclosed divorce settlements of all time, so far. All dollar values in US dollars.

  1. Roy E. and Patricia Disney: $600 million (£305.6m)

Roy E. Disney, the late nephew of Walt Disney, had amassed a fortune of around $1.3 billion (£662m) by the time he and wife Patricia Ann Dailey filed for divorce in 2007. Aged 77 and 72 respectively, the pair had been married for an impressive 52 years.

Prior to the split, Roy had frequented the Forbes 400 list as one of America’s richest people, but the divorce saw the Disney heir lose almost half of his fortune. He went on to marry Disney screenwriter Leslie DeMeuse just a year later but died shortly afterwards. Patricia passed away in 2012. The pair left behind the Roy + Patricia Disney Family Foundation, which grants up to $5 million (£3.6m) to various social justice causes each year. In 2018 the foundation had assets worth $122 million (£88.7m).

  1. Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall: $975 million (£631.2m)

The divorce of oil magnate Harold Hamm from his former wife, lawyer and economist Sue Ann Arnall, was a lengthy affair, with three years of bitter court disputes finally culminating in a settlement in 2015. Hamm brought the case to a close when he agreed to write his ex-wife a cheque for $974,790,317.77 (£631.2m). Proceedings were particularly complicated because the couple hadn’t signed a prenuptial agreement at the beginning of their 26-year marriage. But the ordeal wasn’t over quite yet…

After depositing the cheque Arnall changed her mind and filed an appeal, having decided she wanted a bigger slice of Hamm’s then-$13.7 billion (£8.9bn) fortune. Luckily for Hamm the Oklahoma Supreme Court sided with him and agreed to dismiss the appeal. Arnall was unable to claim more of her former husband’s enormous wealth, but she did fund a political action committee that eventually succeeded in unseating the judge who had overseen the settlement. Both parties spent millions of dollars on legal fees. Harold Hamm is currently worth $8.1 billion (£5.8bn) according to Forbes.

  1. Steve and Elaine Wynn: $850 million (£570m)

After co-founding the sprawling casino empire Wynn Resorts in 2002, Steve and Elaine Wynn divorced for a second time in 2010. They had first divorced in 1986 but remarried five years later. As Elaine had been a board member for Wynn Resorts since 2002, she was entitled to 11 million shares of the company, then worth around $795 million (£533m), as part of the second divorce settlement. She also scooped up a large portion of the $114 million (£76.4m)-worth of stock that Steve sold that year.

The separation wasn’t all plain sailing, as Elaine went on to sue Wynn Resorts in 2012 to sell off part of her 9% stake in the company and she was then removed from the board in 2015 following a heated proxy contest. Steve then faced sexual harassment allegations in 2018, which he denied, but as a result he stepped down as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts and sold all his shares. Elaine, nicknamed the “Queen of Las Vegas”, is now the company’s largest shareholder and has a net worth of $2.2 billion (£1.6bn), while Steve is worth $3.2 billion (£2.3bn) according to Forbes.

  1. Bill and Sue Gross: $1.3 billion (£930.3m)

Bill Gross made his fortune through Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), which he co-founded in 1971. He then went on to marry Sue J. Frank in 1985. In 2016 Sue filed for divorce from her husband of 32 years, and a messy sharing of assets commenced.

In the final settlement Sue walked away with $1.3 billion (£1.1bn)-worth of assets, including a property in Laguna Beach, California worth $36 million (£29.2m). A contested Picasso painting called Le Repos was also in the haul, and Sue went on to auction off the 1932 artwork at Sotheby’s for $36.9 million (£26.8m) in 2018. She even got custody of all three of the couple’s cats, despite Bill’s attempt to keep one for himself. The divorce pushed Bill off the Forbes 400 list in 2018, after he had ranked as one of America’s richest people for the previous 14 years. Both Bill and Sue Gross currently have fortunes of $1.5 billion (£1.1bn), according to Forbes. Gross is pictured with his current girlfriend, former professional tennis player Amy Schwartz, who he has described as his “life partner”.

  1. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott: at least $35 billion (£26.4bn)

MacKenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos met while working at a hedge fund in New York before founding retail mammoth Amazon in their garage in 1994. Fast-forward 25 years to 2019 and Amazon was booming, but the couple decided to go their separate ways. What followed was the most expensive divorce settlement of all time…


Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott: at least $35 billion (£26.4bn)

In April 2019 the pair announced the terms of their divorce, which saw Scott receive 4% of Amazon stock, worth $35 billion (£26.4bn) then but now worth a whole lot more following the ecommerce retailer’s enormous success during the coronavirus pandemic. Bezos kept hold of space exploration company Blue Origin and The Washington Post.

Scott became the third richest woman in the world once her divorce from the world’s wealthiest person was finalised, and she is currently worth $56 billion (£40.2bn). She is trying to reduce her net worth, however, and she committed to giving away the majority of her wealth over her lifetime when she signed Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s initiative called the Giving Pledge in May 2019. In 2020 alone the novelist donated more than $4 billion (£2.9bn) to charity. Scott married a science teacher from Seattle earlier this year, while her ex-husband is currently the world’s second richest person, according to Forbes, with a fortune of $192.6 billion (£138.3bn).



 And after a marriage break up what you need is a nice cup of tea. As a billionaire that needs to be an’expensive’ cup of tea. Here are the TOP FIVE Most Expensive Teas.

  1. Tieguanyin

This is the motherload, the cherry on top, the big kahuna. Tieguanyin is the most expensive tea in the world, and, naturally, it comes from China. At the fantastical price of $3,000 per kg, just thinking about this tea makes my heart beat faster.

It’s named after a Buddhist deity called Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy). It’s an oolong tea, meaning its oxidization is somewhere between that of black and green teas. Luckily for anyone who buys this expensive tea, a leaf can be brewed up to seven times before it loses its flavour, so I guess its bang-for-your-buck value is very high. So why is this tea so unique? It brings the five senses into play with every sip:

– Sight: The liquid is a shimmering golden colour, and the leaves are thick and bright. Pretty!

– Sound: The leaves are kneaded before being put into cloth bags, making a pitch-perfect ringing sound when poured into your cup.

– Smell: It has a distinct chestnut flavour when brewed, making it unique among Oolong teas.

– Taste: The rich flavour of this tea fills the mouth and tongue when swirled in the mouth.

– Touch: The tea leaves themselves are heavy and solid, crisp to the touch.

2              Gyokuro

This tea is known as Sencha, which is a Japanese green tea that’s made without grinding the tea leaves. The leaves are really pampered – they’re shaded from the sun in the final two week before harvesting, which helps increase the amino acids in the leaves, giving them a sweeter flavour and distinct aroma. This tea sells for about $65 USD for 100grams, making it super expensive. It’s made in Japan Uji district, which I’m planning to go visit one day, if only for the off chance that they’ll have a 50% off deal or something. Although that will still make it way more then anything I could afford for a cup of tea. Would you pay that much for tea?

  1. Da Hong Pao

This tea is legendary, in that it dates back as early as the 18th century (the Dao Guang Era FYI), and is still being talked about to this day. We’re actually talking about the premium version of this tea – because there are a variety of options – but this one is the most expensive. So the Chinese government sold this tea in 1998 in an auction to the highest bidder, and received $900,000 for it. That comes out to around $1,250,000 per kilogram. This tea is more expensive than gold. I’d love to try it, really I would. But I don’t think it would be worth the mortgage I’d have to take out to pay for it.

What’s so special about this tea? A few Chinese government officials describe the tea as having a rich floral taste that lingers in the mouth, even several minutes after drinking. That’s pretty unique for a cup of tea.

4              Panda dung tea

I love Pandas! They’re so cute and cuddly, and they sleep a lot, and don’t do much else as a general rule. Basically, they remind me of me, but cuter. Oh, and another thing they do a lot of is poo. In the tea world they call it dung, but it’s really poo. So this Panda dung (poo) is the secret to this special tea, which has been reported to be sold for around $200 per cup. Why do people drink tea made of an animals poop? A few reasons. Panda’s only eat wild bamboo, and they only absorb around 30% of the nutrients in their food. That leaves 70% in their excrement (there are many ways of saying poo), which gets into the tea. Yes, it sounds gross – so don’t think about it when you’re chugging down this tea. Your body will love it!

The tea is not actually made purely out of Panda dung, though. It’s just fertilized with it. A Chinese entrepreneur basically decided to cultivate tea leaves in the mountains of Ya’an, Sichuan and fertilize the leaves with the Panda dung. People loved the flavour and paid him lots of money for it. Oh, China.

5              Yellow Gold Tea Buds

At around $105.71 USD for 50 grams (around 25 cups), this tea is both as expensive as, and as pretty as a piece of jewellery. What I mean is that they paint the tea leaves with real gold – 24 carats – and you’re apparently supposed to consume that into your body. But don’t worry, apparently it’s not only non-toxic, it’s actually pretty healthy. (Disclaimer – I didn’t actually drink this tea, but I have been told by a reliable source that it’s fine to consume small amounts of gold flakes.)

Now, this shimmering tea is only sold in Singapore, so if you’re not from there – or planning a trip there anytime soon – you’re out of luck. There is only one mountain in the world where the tea gets harvested, and – to make it even rarer – it’s only harvested one day a year, and only with special golden scissors, and only from the top part of the tree. That makes it more endangered then these animals! Guys, I’m trying to find out which day of the year these leaves are harvested, but no-ones telling me. I thought we’d all fly down to Singapore on that day and get our own. Yeah, they’re not going for it.


REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort



 “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln


Happiness is…a nice cup of tea, be it expensive or cheap.


I asked my date to meet me at the gym today. She didn’t show up. That’s when I knew we weren’t gonna work out.


Love is…a cup of Breakfast tea together.


A time for a cup of the most expensive tea, ever in the world… A time for a cup of Tesco’s own brand tea.






©2021 Phil M Robinson