won a $49 million divorce ruling from
last week, but she lost in the court of public opinion. The judge called her "devoid of reality," and the British press said she had "over-egged the pudding" with outrageous demands. Which goes to prove that there are no winners in divorce, but plenty of head-shaking stories:
titled one of his record albums "Here, My Dear" because the profits from it were supposed to pay off his ex-wife.
lawyer H. Beatty Chadwick and his wife, Bobbie, didn't get along. She complained that he would engage in sex only at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and rationed her toilet paper to six sheets per bathroom visit. He denied such tyrannies, but there was no denying that when they got a divorce, $2.5 million was missing. He said it went to pay a debt overseas; the judge said he was hiding marital assets and sent him to prison. Even today -- 13 years later -- Chadwick is behind bars in the longest imprisonment on a civil contempt charge in U.S. history.
was the first major-party presidential candidate to be divorced, and some say it was a factor in his defeats. A Gallup Poll in 1952 found that 14 percent of respondents would not vote for a divorced candidate. Yet less than three decades later,
's divorce was a virtual non-issue. And six men who ran for president in 2008 had been divorced:
, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Chris Dodd,
and Dennis Kucinich.
, who sang "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," was married five times, and blamed her splitup with hard-drinking singer George Jones on "my naggin' and his nippin'." Wynette also made famous an anthem for fidelity: "Stand by Your Man." During the 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton declared, "I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette." That ticked off Wynette, who said Clinton had "offended every true country music fan and every person who has made it on their own with no one to take them to a
minister Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe died in 1997, 10 days before he would have celebrated his first anniversary with his 29th wife, Linda Essex-Wolfe. It was her 23rd marriage. Both numbers may have set records for men and women who marry one person at a time, but Egyptian polygamist Mustafa Eid Samida had them both beat. As of 2001, he had been married and divorced 203 times.
divorced his wife Mileva in 1919, he promised to give her winnings "from an eventual
." Three years later, he indeed was honored. It's not clear whether he ever gave her the winnings, though he supported her in other ways.
7 The Japanese call the end of a short-lived marriage a "Narita divorce." That refers to the common situation in which barely acquainted newlyweds fly off on their honeymoon, and by the time they get back to Narita Airport, they are ready to split up.
8 The per-capita U.S. divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1970: 3.6 per 1,000, way down from its peak of 5.3 in 1981. But that doesn't necessarily mean that marriage is working; it means that marriage is being delayed or avoided by more and more Americans.
9 For Valentine's Day last month, a Charleston, W.Va., radio station gave away a free divorce. "Sure, we can give away concert tickets, and we do," said WKLCFM Program Director Jay Nunley. "That's going to make you happy for a little while. This is the chance to make someone happy for the rest of their life."
once observed, "Ah, yes, divorce ... from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."
, Entertainment Weekly, Dallas Morning News, Tribune news services