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Paul McCartney vs. Heather Mills

Image: Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
Sion Touhig  /  Getty Images
The most recent foray into the airing of dirty laundry for public consumption came courtesy of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Well, giving credit where it’s due, Heather did the heavy lifting. After four years of marriage, Paul announced their intention to split in 2006, and Heather announced everything else. The tabloids drew first blood, launching into Heather’s past and accusing her of everything from prostitution to general money grubbing. In turn, Heather sought to protect her image by pointing out what an emotionally abusive and physically violent husband Paul was — a plan that backfired, as, unlike Heather, the former Beatle had the whole beloved-public-figure-with-credibility thing going on. Paul also had his daughter, Stella, in his corner, allegedly slinging away at his ex, while he remained relatively mud-free. The divorce drama ended in March of this year, after Heather gave Paul’s lawyer an in-court baptism and walked away with a settlement worth over $48 million.

Charlie Sheen vs. Denise Richards

Image: Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
Kevin Winter  /  Getty Images
Hollywood divorces just don’t get uglier than the hate-filled fest between Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards. What started as the standard celebrity split took a trainwreck turn when Charlie’s personal communications to Denise surfaced. First came the voice mail messages, in which the “Two and a Half Men” star found creative new ways to curse and tell his then-soon-to-be ex that he hoped she’d “rot in f---ing hell.” Then, topping his previous work, Charlie sent Denise rambling e-mails calling her “a sad, jobless pig who is sad and talentless and sad and jobless and evil and a bad mom…” He also suggested she “go cry to (her) bald mom” — an especially low blow given that Denise’s mother was undergoing cancer treatments at the time. During all of this, Denise was busy filing court paper claiming Charlie was an abusive, gambling, porn addict. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for the three years they were (supposedly) happily married.

Elizabeth Taylor vs. and Richard Burton

Image: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Keystone  /  Getty Images
Old school divorces had intrigue, too. In fairness, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton should get two entries — one for each of their divorces. Maybe a couple more for the peripheral divorces their union caused. They pair started their legendary romance while they were filming “Cleopatra.” Tinseltown got its first taste of tabloid coverage, as both were already married. Liz dumped husband number four, Eddie Fisher, to be with Richard, who left his first wife Sybil Williams to marry Liz. After 10 years of alleged affairs and bickering (watch them in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” for what’s said to be a near-perfect reflection of their personal battles), they called it quits. Less than a year and a half later, Liz and Dick gave it another shot. By that time, annoyance outweighed affection and the second marriage only lasted a few months. Rumor has it they would have gone for “third time’s a charm” had Richard lived a little longer.

Alec Baldwin vs. Kim Basinger

Image: Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin
Stan Honda  /  AFP/Getty Images
The divorce between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger started out downright quiet by Hollywood standards. Things only became messy between the pair during their drawn-out custody battle for daughter, Ireland. What began as mutually agreed upon shared custody, turned into accusations of emotional manipulation. Alec claimed Kim tried to turn their daughter against him, but gained little public sympathy after an angry voicemail message to his daughter leaked. As if calling the then-11-year-old a “rude little pig” wasn’t bad enough, he then threatened to “straighten (her) ass out.” Alec later apologized, but tried to spin the incident back on Kim, citing “parental alienation.” His rep stated, “Everyone who knows him privately knows what he has been put through for the past six years.”

Liza Minnelli vs. David Gest

Image: Liza Minnelli And David Gest
Vince Bucci  /  Getty Images
After three forgettable divorces, Liza Minnelli hit scandal pay dirt with David Gest. The marriage, which lasted all of 14 months, dissolved into a bitter he-said she-said, with David constantly vying for the last word. His accusations against Liza ran the gamut, from drunken rage-fueled bouts of spousal abuse to a case of hidden herpes. Liza shot back, saying David drugged her and bilked her fortune. David slapped the “Cabaret” star with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, but after fighting it out in the courts and the papers, the two agreed to call it day, dropping any further legal action. In the end, it was just a standard no-fault, get-out-of-marriage-quick divorce. Ah, well, it was fun while it lasted.

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