ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Celebrity Pre-Nuptial Agreements

In the wake of the Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey breakup, the Associated Press ran a story about celebrity pre-nuptial agreements.  It turns out that Simpson and Lachey don't have one, which means that Simpson is probably going to be writing a big check to Lachey at some point.

More interestingly, the article discusses wacky clauses that celebrities have put into their pre-nup contracts, such as:

  • Limiting the wife's weight to 120 pounds or she must relinquish $100,000 of her separate property.
  • Allowing a spouse to perform random drug tests, with financial penalties for positive results.
  • Requiring a husband to pay $10,000 each time he is rude to his wife's parents.
  • No mother-in-law sleepovers.
  • Only one football game per Sunday.
  • Mandatory sexual positions.

I often wonder if clauses like these have enforceable remedies.  I can see judges potentially enforcing the first three covenants because they are coupled with liquidated damages clauses (although a judge might think it's unreasonable to award $100k award for going 1 pound over 120).  In contrast, I think the last example might be a good illustration of a remediless covenant.  Without getting too vulgar, I'm skeptical that a judge would assess damages for breach, and I'm 100% confident that a judge will not order specific performance!

[Eric Goldman]

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