People have likened the ending of a marriage to something like a death. There is a grieving for the life you thought you would have. And in some cases a grieving for the person who may have changed in the midst of a nasty divorce. If you’re wealthy, in addition to hurt feelings, unmet expectations and the splitting of property, there’s the likelihood that you might lose a chunk of money as well. In our patriarchal society, men are often the money-makers in heterosexual relationships. But increasingly, women are out-earning their male partners. And when their unions end, they’re left with the bill. Here are 7 celebrity women who had to pay alimony or child support after their divorces.
Mary J. Blige
Singer Mary J. Blige was very open and honest about the financial strain the divorce settlement from ex-husband Martin “Kendu” Isaacs put on her. A judge ordered that she pay $30,000 a month in alimony which was a far cry from the $130,000 Isaacs requested along with child support for his children from a previous relationship. Mary said openly after he lied, cheated on her and spent so much of her money, she thought paying him alimony was “wack.”
The details of Toni Braxton’s 2013 divorce from her husband Keri Lewis were unknown at the time. But years later, in a conversation with her friend Jada Pinkett-Smith on “Red Table Talk,” Braxton revealed that she had to pay alimony to her ex-husband. And she was not happy about it. She said at the time she thought “men are the new b-tches.” Later, she expressed regret for speaking so candidly.
Halle Berry’s 2-year- marriage to Olivier Martinez has been over for eight years. But the two did not reach an agreement in terms of their finances until August 2023. Berry will pay Martinez $8,000 in child support though they’ll share joint custody of their 9-year-old son, Maceo. In addition, Berry will pay Martinez 4.3% of any income she receives above $2 million.
After eight years of marriage, Candace Parker’s ex-husband, former NBA player, Shelden Williams filed for divorce from the WNBA player. In their divorce, Parker opted to pay Williams a lump sum of $400,000, so she wouldn’t have to make monthly child support payments. The couple agreed to share custody of their daughter.
During her threen year marriage to Lamar Sally, host and comedian Sherri Shepherd decided to have a second child, via surrogate. Three months later, the couple were divorcing. But the pregnancy was underway and the child was set to enter the world. Even though Shepherd claimed that she had been duped into the signing the surrogacy paperwork, pointing out that the child doesn’t have any genetic ties to her, a judge determined that she was the legal mother. She was order to pay $4,100 monthly in child support. The figure will increase when the child, a boy, turns 13. This is not the first time she’s gone down this road. She was also ordered to pay child support to her first husband Jeff Tarpley.
Spice Girl Melanie Brown was married to her husband Stephen Belafonte for ten years. The two shared a daughter together. Brown filed for divorce in 2020 amid claims of domestic violence. Brown said that she actually feared Belafonte might take her life. Eventually a judge ordered Brown to pay Belafonte $40,000 a month in alimony, in addition to $140,000 in legal fees.
While Janet was the one who walked away hundreds of millions of dollars richer from her third husband Wissam Al Mana, that was not the case in her second marriage to Réne Elizondo. The two were married secretly for nine years before Elizondo filed for divorce in 2000. They had a prenuptial agreement but Réne claimed he was made to sign it under duress. As a result, he was granted $10 million from the singer plus legal fees.