Some people will do a lot to get ahead. One of those things is marrying someone that has a lot more money than they do just to get that sweet, sweet dough. Some husbands and wives stay married to their breadwinner while others choose to get a divorce. Through the divorce, they usually collect a huge settlement and alimony, which basically sets them up for life. Look at Anna Nicole Smith, for example! Or, actually, pretty much anyone who marries an old person that’s on their last legs.
Andrew Robinson Stoney / Mary Eleanor Bowes
Paul McCartney’s ex-wife was awarded nearly $50 million in her divorce from the former Beatle—something like $25,000 per day of marriage—and still seemed to think it wasn’t enough. At first, she garnered sympathy with tales of Paul being a domineering husband, but then it began to fall apart. The judge censured her for illegally tapping McCartney’s phone, and her stories starting proving false.
It’s one thing for Piers Morgan to call you a gold-digger (nobody cares what he thinks; he’s only relevant for having introduced the pair), but Mills’s own publicist quit after realizing how often she’d been lied to, calling her former client “a gold digger,” “a calculating, pathological liar…” and a few other things we won’t mention here.
Casper Smart / Jennifer Lopez
It came as a shock to fans when Jennifer Lopez suddenly ditched her husband of seven years, Marc Anthony, for one of her backup dancers, Casper Smart, back in 2011. While the two were together, Smart received a $10,000 weekly allowance and a major job promotion from backup dancer to choreographer. The two stayed together until 2016 when Lopez discovered he’d been cheating on her.
Anna Nicole Smith / J. Howard Marshall
Anna Nicole Smith has been lionized after her death as some kind of graceful, tragic-romantic figure. Yet before that she was known as a reality star, before that as a nude model, and before that as the 26-year-old who married an 89-year-old oil tycoon that she met while stripping. She wasn’t named in the will, but when he died, she sued his son for half of the estate in a court case that dragged on for so long that both parties died before it ended.
Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer, Howard K. Stern, was also accused of being a gold digger in his own right. He was Smith’s attorney during her fight for J. Howard Marshall’s fortune. However, they quickly forged a romance of their own. In 2006, they exchanged wedding vows, though the ceremony was non-binding. Five months later, Smith was dead and Stern was saying he was the father of Smith’s daughter (the sole heir to her estate). However, this was proven false through DNA testing.
Antony Armstrong-Jones / Princess Margaret
Antony Armstrong-Jones was a photographer and art scene figure of some renown when he married Princess Margaret (the first marriage to a commoner in 450 years), but he certainly acted like a gold-digger. Armstrong-Jones was partying it up constantly and carrying on affairs with men and women alike with very little attempts at discretion.
Of course, there was a double standard. Antony was outraged when Margaret finally took a lover of her own despite having at least two children running around that weren’t hers. They divorced, though he held onto the title that was made up for him by the Royal Family for life (so the children with Margaret wouldn’t be commoners).
Peggy Hopkins Joyce / Various Millionaires
Peggy Hopkins Joyce was flamboyantly, gleefully, famously a gold digger. An actress and socialite, Peggy left home at age 15 with a vaudeville bicyclist then dumped him for a millionaire she met on the train. She went on to marry a total of six times—usually millionaires. Her marriages (and the affairs she had both in and out of them) broke out of gossip columns and into legend.
Her movies were so steamy that they ultimately provoked the Hays board into censoring films—our generation didn’t invent tawdry puns involving cats. She was also mentioned in lyrics by the likes of Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart as a shorthand for excess. In 1920 she made headlines for spending $1 million dollars of her third husband’s money in just a week.
Gabriel Aubry / Halle Berry
Aubry was a relatively unknown model until he met and married Halle Berry. Aubry was promptly named a gold digger during their divorce settlement. Aubry demanded a $50,000 lawyer fee on top of $20,000 a month in alimony. Aubry claimed that he needed the $20,000 to support the lavish lifestyle that their daughter had grown accustomed to. He wound up getting $16,000 in child support. Though, it’s worth mentioning that he doesn’t even have full custody of their daughter.
Amy Irving / Steven Spielberg
Irving started dating Steven Spielberg back in 1976, around the same time she first began her acting career. The two dated for four years before Irving had a fling with Willie Nelson, with whom she was co-starring in the film Honeysuckle Rose. Irving’s acting career started to crumble not long after, so she crawled back to Spielberg. The two got married in 1985, and it ended four years later in ’89. They’d had a makeshift prenup that had been written on the back of a napkin, and Irving got away with a $100 million settlement.
Rick Salomon / Pamela Anderson
Career gambler Rick married Shannen Doherty in 2002—right as she was coming off of 90210 and starring in Charmed. He was such an absentee, terrible party animal of a husband that Doherty was granted not just a divorce, but an annulment just nine months later. Later that year, a sex tape leaked between Salomon and Paris Hilton (launching her into the public eye). After multiple lawsuits between Hilton, Salomon, and the distributor, Salomon distributed the tape himself under the title 1 Night in Paris.
In 2007, he married Pamela Anderson, which lasted for five months of him trying to horn in on her reality show before the show was canned. She also was granted an annulment. She later revealed that she had married Salomon a second time, but that lasted less than two years. She was actually given $1M in that divorce, but she ended her campaign to contest Salomon’s Nevada residency—turns out gambling finally paid off for him, and he at least claims to live in a state with no income tax.
Tameka Raymond / Usher
The ex-wife of Usher, fans accused Tameka Raymond of being sketchy and a gold digger almost immediately after their relationship started. It only got worse after their messy divorce. After just two years of marriage, the two called it quits, and fans and industry members all released a collective “I told you so.” It was discovered that Usher was solely supporting her lavish and expensive lifestyle. Usher was paying for her Saks card that fueled her job as a stylist. Though he managed to pull a fast one on her by selling the house she lived in that was under his name.
Kevin Federline / Britney Spears
Surprised-ferret impersonator Kevin Federline got a job as a backup dancer for Britney Spears. He immediately started setting himself up to date Spears, leaving his wife just days after she gave birth to his second child. Two years and two children later, Spears was at that point in her career, meaning that Federline got sole custody and $20,000/month in child support when they divorced.
Following his marriage to Spears, K-Fed tried to use his new-found fame to launch a rap career. You can imagine how well that went. He had a guest-starring role on One Tree Hill and tried his hand at some celebrity weight-loss reality shows, including Celebrity Fit Club and Excess Baggage. He has since remarried and had two more children; they are his fifth and sixth overall.
Marion Davies / William Randolph Hearst
Marion Davies was a budding comedienne when she began her affair with newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst never actually divorced his previous wife Millicent, but they separated in the 20s because of Hearst and Davies’ very public, 44-year affair. Hearst used his wealth and power as a newsman to land Davies a movie career well outside of her scope as an actress.
She wasn’t a very good actress and finally realized in her 40s that if the public still hadn’t accepted her, they simply weren’t going to. Still, Hearst’s strong-arm attempts to give his wife a life as an actress allegedly inspired much of the plot of Citizen Kane.
Lamar “Hot Sauce” McDow / Marie Holmes
This couple isn’t particularly famous or historically noteworthy, but they are undeniably gold-diggery. Lamar McDow and Marie Holmes make the news every now and then when she posts her boyfriend’s bail. McDow keeps landing himself in jail on drug and weapons charges, and she keeps dipping into her $188 million Powerball jackpot to post a current total of $21 million in bail bonds for him.
Andrew Robinson Stoney / Mary Eleanor Bowes
Mary Eleanor Bowes was already the wealthiest woman in Britain from inheriting her father’s mining business when her husband, an incredibly good-looking Earl, died and left her even more. Enter Stoney, a Navy lieutenant who had already married and bankrupted one heiress. Stoney had the local paper print letters from an “anonymous” writer impugning her dignity so that he could step in and challenge the paper’s editor to a duel in defense of her honor.
He “lost” the duel—that is, faked a gruesome, bloody injury—and asked for her hand in marriage as a last request. Of course, when she agreed to marry him, he didn’t die. He burned through her entire fortune, trampling her prenup because it was 1777 and women could barely even have property. He locked her up and fed her just an egg and a biscuit a day, and even kidnapped her daughter in an effort to force her into giving up a trust fund that he couldn’t get into. In short, he treated her so badly that even an 18th-century British court granted a divorce to a woman.
Alma Mahler Werfel / Various Husbands
Alma Mahler was the wife and muse of three artistic titans of the early 20th century—composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and poet Franz Werfel. She was also the “muse” of several others, often while married to one of her three husbands. Maybe she was drawn more to fame than money, but whatever the reason, she was a perennial hanger-on.
She was also a relentless liar. Outliving Mahler for 50 years, she was often the only source for aspects of his life, but existing sources contradicted her to the point that historians now refer to the “Alma Problem.”
Elin Nordegren / Tiger Woods
Nordegren was originally the nanny for Swedish golfer Jesper Parnevik’s children when she moved to the United States. It was in the U.S. that she met pro-golfing legend Tiger Woods during the 2001 Open Championship. Nordegren soon became the nanny for his children before finding herself as his wife.
The two were married for six years before Woods’s cheating scandal came to light. Nordegren managed to make off with a cool $100 million since their divorce and has continued her trend of dating wealthy men.
Ivana Trump / Donald Trump
The former wife of President Trump was immediately slapped with the gold digger label both during and after their relationship. Ivana made sure she utilized all of the luxuries that being a Trump provided her for almost 20 years of marriage. Had it not been for Donald’s affair with Marla Maples, they might have stayed together. Ivana made out with a big haul of a $20 million settlement, a $14 million home, and $350,000 in annual alimony.
Sarah Ferguson / Prince Andrew
Ferguson is a little bit different from everyone else on this list. Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in 1986 but divorced just five years later. Unlike most everyone else on this list, Ferguson didn’t ruthlessly go after the prince’s money in a settlement. The two actually remained friends. Kind of. Ferguson wound up being caught acting as an intermediary that would introduce high-paying people to the prince. She was discovered in 2010.
Courtney Love / Kurt Cobain
A self-proclaimed gold digger, Courtney Love is in a league all her own. Love openly said that she would only date really rich men, and she truly didn’t believe there was anything wrong with that. At least she’s honest. At that point, it’s on the guy who chooses to date her if things go south.
Russell Brand / Katy Perry
An international star since the mid-2010s, Brand is a comedian, actor, and writer who fell in love-at-first-sight with singer Katy Perry. The two met on the set of Brand’s movie, Get Him to the Greek, in 2009. The two married later in 2009 but divorced just 14 months later. Brand walked away with a cool $22 million after the divorce and held a very harsh view on his ex-wife.
David Gest / Liza Minnelli
Gest and his then-wife Liza Minnelli had one of the dirtiest divorces in Hollywood history. Gest claimed during the divorce that Minnelli had failed to tell him she had herpes before they signed their prenup. According to New York law, that nullified the prenup. Minelli was worth $60 million at the time, and Gest was looking to stake a claim for a much greater portion of her money than what he was actually entitled to.
Rachel Hunter / Rod Stewart
Rachel Hunter was just 21 when she married 45-year-old Rod Stewart, so she was almost immediately labeled a gold digger. Stewart was smart enough to get a prenup before they tied the knot. The two of them were married for almost 16 years and had two children together before calling it quits in 2006. That prenup didn’t save him, and Hunter got away with $65 million after their divorce.
Helg Sgarbi / Suzanne Klatten
This guy’s an actual scumbag. Sgarbi gained fame and wealth by seducing young women before blackmailing them to get exorbitant amounts of money from them. Most notably, Sgarbi targeted BMW heiress, Suzanne Klatten, and forced her to pay tons of money so he wouldn’t release a sex tape of her.
In total, Sgarbi was accused of swindling at least half a dozen women out of more than $38 million. Sgarbi was outed by the women he blackmailed and sentenced to spend six years in prison for fraud and blackmail in 2008.
Diane Richie / Lionel Richie
Diana was an 18-year-old backup dancer when she caught Lionel Richie’s eye. The issue was that he was still married to his first wife, Brenda Richie. After his first marriage ended, Diane and Lionel married in 1995 and had two children together. It all came to an expensive crash when the two divorced in 2004. Diane was awarded a $20 million settlement. Lionel is also still required to pay her ‘essential lifestyle costs’ which includes $50,000 a month beauty allowances, $15,000 a month for clothes, and $20,000 a year for plastic surgeries.
Raffaello Follieri / Anne Hathaway
Okay, so, Anne Hathaway and Raffaello Follieri never got married, but Hathaway still wound up paying for it. The two met, Anne fell in love with him in 2004, and they stayed together until 2008. That’s when Follieri was arrested on 14 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. Throughout their relationship, Hathaway wound up spending almost $50 million on Follieri and his lavish lifestyle.
Dean McDermott / Tori Spelling
McDermott was a struggling actor when he met his future wife, Tori Spelling, on the set of Mind Over Murder. He was determined to pursue Spelling and left his first wife of over 10 years (as they were in the process of adopting a child). The two were married in 2006, and fans have scrutinized him ever since. Especially since Spelling was set to inherit a portion of her father’s $500 million fortune.