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Top 5 most famous family law matters

Family law cases generally revolve around divorces, custody arrangements, wills and estate disputes. For many celebrities and affluent families, a death or divorce can precipitate long-term legal battles and struggle. Let’s check out some of the most famous family law cases and why they occurred.

Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radic

Bernie Ecclestone is the former chief executive of the Formula One Group and is worth around $3.2 billion US as of 2020. Back in 2009, Ecclestone divorced his wife, Slavica, of 24 years. The settlement was worth a whopping $1.2 billion US.

Rupert Murdoch and Anna Torv

Australian-American media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, separated from his wife of 31 years, Anna Torv, in 1999. During their marriage, the couple had 3 children together. When the divorce was finalised in 1999, Torv reportedly received close to $1.7 billion US in the settlement. This figure included close to $110 million in cash.

Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Bezos

Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and the wealthiest person in the world, married Mackenzie Tuttle in 1993. They divorced in 2019 and in the process, Mackenzie Bezos received a record-breaking $38 billion. She has since pledged half of that money to charity.

J Howard Marshall and Anna Nicole Smith

J Howard Marshall was an American businessman who invested in the oil industry during the 20th century and made a fortune. In 1994, barely 14 months before his death, he married Anna Nicole Smith, a 26-year-old model when he was 89 years of age. Once he passed away in 1995, Nicole Smith claimed she had been pledged half of Marshall’s estate, worth more than $1.6 billion US. The court decided the case in her favour; however, Smith died in 2007. In 2011, a new trial was brought before a court, which Smith’s estate subsequently lost.

Howard Hughes

The enigmatic Howard Hughes famously left no will or final testament when he passed away in 1976. A handwritten note was uncovered that supposedly promised the estate to a random petrol station owner, who provided Hughes with a lift when stranded. The document did not stand up in court, however, meaning the petrol station owner received none of the $156 million estate. Eventually, Hughes’ estate was divided amongst his closest relatives.

Sean Hall
Sean Hall
Sean Hall is our law writer, and he’s been a conveyancing and family law lawyer for over 15 years. He’s adept at breaking down complicated legal jargon in layman’s terms so that his readers have a better grasp of the legal landscape, no matter what angle they approach it from.

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