Days before their 1997 wedding ceremony, comedian Bill Murray and his wife, Jennifer Butler Murray, entered into a 26-page antenuptial agreement (excerpted at Slate.com). "Jennifer … is aware that Bill is a person of very substantial means and income," the document said (Page 2). The agreement stipulated that Murray would "continue to retain all right title and interest … to all separate property he may now own or hereafter acquire" (Page 3). As a wedding present, Bill agreed to buy his bride a modest house ("not exceeding one million dollars") of her own ("title … taken in Jennifer’s sole name"—Page 5). In the "event of marital discord," Jennifer would relinquish her rights to alimony (Page 4) and instead receive within 60 days of the marriage’s dissolution a lump-sum "marital award" of $7 million (Page 5).
Such legal precautions, the couple believed, would "enhance and encourage a harmonious marital relationship" and avoid any "conflict or controversy in the future" (below). But the course of true love never did run smooth. Last week, Jennifer sued to dissolve the union (see excerpt on Page 6) in Charleston, S.C., family court. Jennifer cited Bill’s "adultery, addiction to marijuana and alcohol, abusive behavior, physical abuse, sexual addictions and frequent abandonment." She has asked the court to determine whether the pre-nup is valid. The couple has four children.
A copy of excerpts from the prenuptial agreement is posted at Slate.com