Hideous Celebrity Breakups

Halle Berry's custody battle with Gabriel Aubry is getting ugly. From Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren to Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, The Daily Beast surveys the nastiest celebrity breakups of all time.

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry

At first, the breakup seemed amicable. In 2010, Halle Berry said of her split from model Gabriel Aubry: "We're still friends, we love each other very much." But recently, things have turned ugly, as the couple engages in a vicious custody battle over their 2-year-old daughter, Nahla. Though they were never married, Aubry filed a paternity petition in December 2010. He alleged that Berry would leave Nahla unattended while she was on set. And Berry has come out swinging: her rep recently told Us Weekly, "Halle has serious concerns for her daughter's well-being while in the care of her father for any extended period of time and is prepared to take all necessary steps to protect her." Aubry hasn't made a comment about the custody battle, but on Wednesday, RadarOnline reported that Aubry has abusive voicemails, text messages and emails from Berry. Said a source: "She left a crazy message on Gabe's cell just after some pictures came out of him at a Lakers game with a girl last year... She is mega, mega p***ed in the message, calling him, and the girl, all kinds of names—it's certainly something Halle wouldn't want heard." Meanwhile, Berry reportedly claims that her daughter, Nahla "cries hysterically" when she has to see her father, and that Aubry put Nahla "in immediate harm's way" last summer.

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Camille & Kelsey Grammer

Though several marriages of the Real Housewives franchise end in divorce, the messiest this year was that between Kelsey Grammer and his wife, Camille, which played out over several painful episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. As depicted on the show, the rift began when Grammer left Camille and their two children at home in Malibu while he went to New York to appear on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles. There, he met a 29-year-old flight attendant named Kayte Walsh, and promptly called things off with Camille. "I offered to go to therapy…. But his mind was already made up," Camille said of their breakup. "I started crying and he said, 'Oh, grow up.' I said, 'What about our children?' and he said, 'They'll get over it.' It was harsh." Camille filed for divorce in July, claiming that during their marriage the couple amassed a fortune of $100 million. They are currently at war over the divorce settlement, as Camille has reportedly turned down $40 million and wants $50 million instead. Meanwhile, Kelsey and Kate are rushing to the altar—and will reportedly tie the knot in a lavish $100,000 ceremony at the Plaza hotel on February 25.

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Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

It seems so long ago, but it was only early 2010 that Sandra Bullock and Jesse James were happily married. One week after her Best Actress Oscar win, Bullock found herself locked in one of the fastest marriage spirals: numerous women came forward and alleged affairs with James. Within days, Bullock canceled her press appearances as more and more stories came forward—and eventually a photo leaked out of James conducting a Nazi salute. The following divorce came swiftly, and although Bullock maintained a quiet public image—even adopting her son Louis, in secret—James went on Nightline and referred to himself as "the most hated man in the world." Their divorce was finalized only three months after his affairs became public and paved the road for her to become a single mother for Louis—with no parental rights for James. A final insult to Bullock: in January, James announced he is marrying one of his many women: tattoo artist Kat Von D.

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Mel and Robyn Gibson

Through most of his nearly 30-year marriage to Robyn Gibson, Mel called his wife a "saint" for sticking by him through his rehab stints over the years—and he credited her with bringing him back from the brink. They separated in 2006, just one month after his DUI arrest, but Robyn did not file for divorce until 2009—around the time that Mel announced that he and his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva were expecting a baby. Despite Robyn's public comments supporting Mel, the divorce quickly became one of Hollywood's most expensive. The two have yet to come to a final divorce agreement.

David J. Phillip / AP Photo

Tiger Woods & Elin Nordegren

After Tiger Wood's sex scandal that kept growing and growing, one thing came to a swift end: his marriage to Elin Nordegren. Rumor had it that Nordegren originally sought $750 million in her divorce from Tiger Woods, but in the end, she reportedly received $100 million. As part of their divorce settlement, Nordegren must remain silent about his numerous alleged affairs, since a friend told London's The Sun tabloid that Tiger's main fear was "her telling her story after he's rebuilt his reputation, sending him back to the gutter." Custody of the couple's 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son was also in dispute—Nordegren wanted to have the children spend part of the year in Sweden, and Woods wanted to make sure he had a say in how they're raised. Nordegren ended up with sole legal custody, and the pair will share physical custody.

Jon Furniss, WireImage / Getty Images

Madonna and Guy Ritchie

Madonna and Guy Ritchie were long rumored to have marital problems, and after the Material Girl filed for divorce, citing Ritchie’s “unreasonable behavior,” their eight-year marriage was dissolved on January 2, 2009. Neither appears heartbroken—Madge was soon linked to 23-year-old model Jesus Luz.

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Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook

Christie Brinkley and her architect hubby Peter Cook had one of those New York soap-opera divorce trials. A few of the down-and-dirty details: Cook slept with his 18-year-old assistant, then gave her a $300,000 bribe to keep their affair quiet, and had a $3,000-a-month habit for swinger and porn sites. Their 12 years of marriage ended with the cover girl holding sole custody rights.

Sara De Boer / Retna

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s marriage was the quintessential example of a union of the lowest common denominator. When the chaotic singer filed for divorce in 2006, her former back-up dancer husband was floored and a distracting public battle was waged over the legal custody of their two children. Spears’ parenting skills were highly scrutinized—remember the “no seatbelts” photos?—and K-Fed retains custody, with Spears receiving visitation rights.

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana

The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer was viewed by 750 million people, but their breakup was a drawn-out, far more public mess. The royal couple was living in separate quarters by the late 1980s, and by the time the media latched on to Charles’ friendship with Camilla Parker Bowles, the scrutiny made their split, which became official in 1996, inevitable.

AP Photo

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

The marriage between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was so nice they tried it twice. Neither panned out, but the Hollywood beauty and revered actor made for quite the steamy duo in Cleopatra in 1963. All told, Taylor racked up eight marriages to seven men—including back-to-back affairs with Burton—but her fans fondly remembered their favorite duo as “Liz & Dick.”

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Donald and Ivana Trump

The pricier the wedding, the pricier the divorce. Real-estate titan Donald Trump married former model Ivana Trump and all seemed well until 1991 when rumors began floating about his possible affair on the ski slopes with Marla Maples. Ivana wasn’t pleased, and her claims that her knowledge helped the Trump’s business, scooped up $20 million from the Donald.

Darron Cummings / AP Photo

Alex and Cynthia Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez’s high-profile divorce from wife Cynthia seems rather quaint among the litany of scandals that follow the tabloid—(and steroid—) prone baseball player. When word leaked from their divorce papers about his “emotional abandonment," many turned their eyes to Madonna’s New York brownstone, where he was seen exiting in the wee hours of the morning. Though A-Rod has always maintained he’s never even gotten to first base.

AP Photo

Ike and Tina Turner

Ike and Tina Turner’s successes were largely tied to one another’s—and that rarely ends well. The duo blazed through the 1960s and ‘70s, and on the strength of her dynamic stage performances and his finger on the pulse of R&B and rock genres, their hit “Proud Mary” was the climax of their success. Their 16-year union ended in 1978, after which Tina published a scathing tell-all about Ike’s drug and alcohol abuse.

Gregg DeGuire, WireImage / Getty Images

Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller

Although Brooke Mueller had Charlie Sheen's last divorce as proof of his poor divorce record, Mueller jumped in headfirst in 2008 to marriage with Sheen—probably thinking she would not be next. But their relationship crumbled fast—by Christmas 2009, Sheen was arrested for allegedly threatening Mueller with a knife. Despite this, Mueller publicly stood by Sheen—until he left her. They filed for divorce in November 2010. The divorce has only started, but it is already off to an ominous start: Mueller filed to receive $55,000 a month in child support, the same amount Sheen pays ex-wife Denise Richards. Not only that, the papers state "under no circumstances shall the child support paid by Charlie for Bob and Max be less than the child support paid by Charlie to Denise Richards for Sam and Lola."

Sara De Boer / Retna

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

The four-year marriage between Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen produced two daughters and too much drama. In 2006, Richards didn’t just file divorce papers, but added a restraining order to the mix, as she claimed Sheen made death threats against her and was a sex addict. He called her statements a “smear campaign.” Then she went on to date Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, who was separated from her one-time friend Heather Locklear.

Stephen Chernin / AP Photo

Hulk and Linda Hogan

Fans of the epic reality show Hogan Knows Best were crushed when Linda Hogan filed for divorce from her mustachioed husband Hulk. One awkward detail: The famous wrestler was informed of his divorce when a newspaper asked for his comment. Hogan had cheated with his daughter’s friend, who was 21 years younger than him. Capping off the strange proceedings: Linda, 48, then dated a 19-year-old from her children’s high school.

Dave Allocca, DMI, Time Life Pictures / Getty Images

Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin

Sometimes life imitates art in only the worst ways. After they met on the set of The Marrying Man, Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin were, you know, married. Their eight-year union hit the skids in 2001, yet they remain in the news as the battle continues for custody over their daughter, Ireland. Baldwin has since published A Promise to Ourselves, in which he describes spending over $1 million to please the lawyers attached to the case.

Hermann J. Knippertz / AP Photo

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills

Never has the word gold-digger become so prevalent as when Paul McCartney wed former model Heather Mills four years after the death of his longtime wife Linda. Mills represented herself in court and was awarded nearly $50 million—not a bad haul, but quite the tumble from the rumored $1 billion that McCartney’s worth.

Sonny and Cher

Multi-talented Sonny and Cher rose to the top of the charts with their catchy pop songs, including “The Beat Goes On.” Unfortunately it didn’t, and after their split, both created dueling variety shows in the vein of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Sonny’s flopped and Cher’s was a hit, but the amicable duo’s voices reunited for a revival of their joint show a few years later.

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Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

The original contentious divorce had only one way out. Henry VIII was furious with his second wife, Anne Boleyn, when she did not give birth to a son. The 16th-century quarrel ended when Anne was accused of high treason (by the king, of course) and was unceremoniously beheaded.