Celebrity Breakups and the House in the Middle

Celebrity divorces involve lots of assets and the house (or homes) can become the center of a battle. Here's a look at six "decouplings" and the estates, mansions and hideaways in the middle.

Photo via Sotheby's International Realty Robin Thicke and Paula Patton: R&B singer Robin Thicke couldn’t “Get Her Back” (a mission impossible, right?). So the next move sharpens any remaining blurred lines about his romance and marriage to Paula Patton. According to Variety, the couple is calling it quits and put their 3,158-square-foot Spanish Revival with sparkling canyon views above Sunset Boulevard on the separation chopping block for $2.98 million. The 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath house was a gift from father Alan Thicke, who grabbed the property in 1990 for $910,000.

Divorce Hollywood-style can bring soul-crushing pain. Tabloids plaster a star’s face that’s seen better days (or nights). The relentless stalking paparazzi that smell blood in the water. Gossip about the other woman, other man, other habits, sometimes accompanied with grainy telephoto images offered as “proof.”  When a famous couple signals a battle by getting lawyered-up, even after the last legal-punch is thrown (pre-nup or not) it can still pound these multimillionaires with settlements worth multiple millions, a few worth a billion.

In 2011, Mel Gibson paid ex-wife Robyn Moore close to $425 million, the biggest divorce bankroll in Hollywood; Juanita Jordon cashed in a $168 million settlement from Michael Jordan; way back in 1989, Amy Irving sang a $100 million-tune from then husband, director Steven Spielberg. (And in 2004, his Indian Jones star Harrison Ford had to kick in $85 million to wife Melissa.) 

Like the rest of the wee mortals, what’s often at issue when splitting the assets is Who Gets the House – or villa, estate, mansion. Big houses. That’s what Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon (done after eight years) are discussing, along with Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay’s Chris Martin (finished in 10 years), Robin Thicke and Paula Patton (done!), Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, (Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas??), kaput after 18, filmmaker Michael Moore and his co-producer-wife Kathleen Glynn, 22 years and closing the curtain, and J-Lo and Marc Anthony, saying goodnight after a decade.

It’s gotta hurt. And it’s gotta be a tough call.

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