Here’s What’s at Stake in Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s Multimillion-Dollar Divorce

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March 27 2014 3:31 PM

What’s at Stake in Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s Multimillion-Dollar Divorce

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow must now "conciously uncouple" their millions.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Entertainment Industry Foundation

This post originally appeared in Business Insider.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 41, and Chris Martin, 37, announced their split Tuesday via her website Goop in a very civilized blog post titled “Conscious Uncoupling.”


After 10 years and two kids together, the Oscar-winning actress and Coldplay frontman have amassed quite an empire—but what exactly is at stake if the two proceed with a divorce?

E! Online estimates that Paltrow and Martin are worth $140 million each, making their combined fortune a whopping $280 million. But reports of their wealth vary widely, with Britain’s Sunday Times pegging their combined net worth at about $120 million in 2012.

But what is certain is that between June 2012 and June 2013 alone, Paltrow and Martin both made Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-earning celebrities. Paltrow landed at No. 71 with $10 million, and Coldplay came in at No. 14 with $64 million.

So where’s all the dough coming from? Let’s break it down.

Chris Martin:

“Chris Martin is clearly the bigger earner in the relationship,” Dorothy Pomerantz, L.A. bureau chief of Forbestold E! News, explaining: “With musicians like Coldplay it depends on touring, which is where they make the big money. So every year these guys go out on tour, they will sell out giant arenas and will make tons of money. It doesn’t really come from the album sales, it comes from the touring.”

Indeed, Martin has admitted that Coldplay only owns a piece of its publishing rights, while its Universal Music label owns its catalogue.

Martin confirmed to Howard Stern during a 2011 interview, “No, we don’t own hardly any of it. … You’ll have to talk to my manager, but we don’t own it for at least 20 years or something.”

“We own quite a lot of the publishing, but we don’t own much of the recording,” he continued. “That’s why people always think bands are a lot richer than they are because they never remember that bit.”

But out of anyone in the band, Martin doesn’t have to worry, as he told Stern that the four members split their earnings “20-20-20-40,” with the largest share going to him as lead singer-songwriter.

That breakdown fares well for Martin, whose band sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and whose last 2012 Mylo Xyloto concert tour grossed more than $170 million, according to the New York Times.

Gwyneth Paltrow:

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Paltrow’s films have grossed more than $3.9 billion worldwide. Iron Man alone accounts for $1.2 billion of that figure.

“When you are in a movie like Iron Man, even if you are not the star, and it makes so much money you get some of that back end," explains Forbes’ Pomerantz. “She is not getting Robert Downey Jr. money, but she still gets a taste of it. She gets money from GOOP, she gets money from her cookbooks and her TV work. ... She has money coming from several different sources now, because she really is a brand and when you put it all together, it is around $10 million.

In addition to Paltrow’s 150,000 Goop subscribers and her newest cookbook, 2013’s It’s All Good debuting at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list, the 41-year-old also boasts lucrative endorsement deals.

People magazine reports Paltrow’s portfolio includes: Max Factor’s Modern Icon campaign ($4.9 million), Boss perfume ($1.9 million), and Estée Lauder ($8.2 million). 

In 2008—the year she became a face of Estée Lauder and the first Iron Man came out— Forbes estimated she made $25 million those 12 months alone.

Real Estate:

With her hailing from Los Angeles and Manhattan and he from London, the couple’s real-estate portfolio currently consists of five properties around the world: “a home in L.A.’s Brentwood neighborhood, a Manhattan apartment, a Hamptons estate, and a mansion in London’s upscale Belsize Park neighborhood, which they bought from Kate Winslet in 2004. Additionally, they purchased the property next door and combined the two into a single large estate,” according to People.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported the couple paid $14 million for a Malibu home, which will now reportedly be used as Martin’s “bachelor pad.

The couple likely has a prenuptial agreement, but if not, California—the state in which they were married—is a community property state, meaning marital property is divided in half in the event of a divorce. 

Aly Weisman is senior editor of Business Insider's entertainment vertical, The Wire.



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