9 Surprising Secrets About Celebrity DivorcesPublished on March 4, 2016. Updated May 1, 2019
Celebrity relationships are seemingly fast, dramatic and often fleeting. It seems divorce rates are on hyperdrive when it comes to the world of celebrities and when, more often than not, an A-list couple decides to part ways, many of them call on celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser. Now, she has sat down for an interview with Bloomberg Business and spilled some very interesting details about the inside workings of major celebrity divorces and with clients like Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Garner, some of the Kardashians and Britney Spears, she has been in the middle of a lot of the biggest divorces in recent Hollywood history. Check out some of the best secrets she spilled about celebrity divorces!
9. Money, Money, Money
It surely is not a surprise that celebrity divorces cost a lot of money, and while we are well aware of the absurd amounts they end up having to pay each other if there was no pre-nup agreement, obtaining Wasser as a lawyer doesn’t come cheap either. She charges $850 an hour as well as a $25,000 retainer and admits she very rarely represents anyone who has less than $10 million.
Divorce is the same process for everyone, even celebrities, but their money gives them the option to keep the whole thing as private as possible. She explained that a lot of her clients hire a private judge to keep the case away from the public court system. A good judge reportedly costs $1,000 an hour, and allows there to be only those involved present, no audience and no paparazzi.
7. Be Blunt
Just because she is working with the rich and famous does not mean Wasser walks on egg shells around them. She is a hard-hitting lawyer and will tell them exactly how it is, even if they don’t want to hear it. One of her wealthiest clients complains that, on the weekends when she has custody of her two children, it is too much work. To that Wasser says, “That sounds like every weekend to me. Also, you have no job.” She also doesn’t have time for petty arguments, saying she once talked a client out of starting a custody battle just because her ex-husband gave a hamburger to their vegan child. “Vegans man. I’m sorry, but no judge is going to take away custody because you gave the kid In-N-Out.”
6. Timing is Everything
Many in the publication industry have noticed that celebrities seem to follow a pattern for when they announce their divorce, and Wasser says this is done on purpose. Friday afternoons are the best times because news outlets are winding down and the Friday or day before a long weekend is even better because barely anyone is paying attention. She also has to make sure her client has told their spouse they’re filing or they are very likely to hear about their own divorce on TMZ. “The turnaround is fast. I have to tell my clients, ‘OK, the courier is filing it today. OK, he’s in line to file. OK, it’s filed. It will be on TMZ within an hour.”
Because of how quickly the papers get picked up and spread around by the media, Wasser says she tries to get clients to negotiate an agreement long before actually filing the documents, citing the divorce of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith as a recent example. “I think we worked on it a good year – no, a year and a half, before it came out on TMZ. And when we did file it, there were some personal things that were agreed upon by Antonio and myself that we had removed from the official papers so they wouldn’t get out.”
4. Backing Out
Even though she has worked on some major celebrity divorces, Wasser revealed there was one she could no longer deal with. Wasser was the one to talk Britney Spears into a prenup when it came to her marriage to Kevin Federline. Britney hired Wasser again a year later, but Wasser left the case in 2007 — she didn’t go into detail about what led to her backing out of the case, she just said, “It was an ugly split-up. We got out of that case.”
3. Divorce Season
Wasser explained in her interview that there actually is a season for divorce. “The high season for divorce attorneys is January and February, when the holidays are over and people can finally stop pretending to be happy,” she said.
Apparently when you are on route to splitsville, it is much easier to not enter it alone and Wasser says she purposely submits cases close together “so media attention will be diluted.” “I’ll tell my clients, ‘I have someone else, I can’t say who, but you should really wait and file at the same time.'” As everyone knows, the divorces never seemed to end in 2015, and two of the biggest were Gwen Stefani’s split from Gavin Rossdale and Jennifer Garner’s split from Ben Affleck, which were announced only one month apart and Stefani and Garner are both Wasser’s clients.
1. More Splits On The Way
As mentioned, the “divorce season” is coming to an end, which means that now that they have their attorneys and the agreements and documents are being worked out, we are in for a slew of high-profile divorce announcements. Wasser stated that several of her cases she is working on will be filed throughout March, adding that after the Oscars is a common time for the filings because her clients don’t “want to walk the red carpet alone.”