Russell Brand’s divorce from singer Katy Perry could make him $20 million richer, thanks to California law and the couple’s reported decision not to sign a prenuptial agreement when they tied the knot 14 months ago.
The comedian, 36, who filed for divorce Friday, told New York magazine last year that the couple did not sign a pre-nup prior to their Oct. 23, 2010, wedding in India after a yearlong, whirlwind romance.
Under California law, without a pre-nup, the couple, who met at the 2009 MTV Music Awards, must split their earnings 50/50.
Forbes magazine reports Perry, 27, the singer behind hits such as “Last Friday Night” and “Fireworks,” is worth at least $44 million.
The projected divorce payout would out-value even Brand himself, who is estimated to be worth around $15 million.
The “Arthur” star released a statement Friday announcing the divorce: “Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage. I’ll always adore her and I know we’ll remain friends.”
Divorce papers filed by Brand’s lawyers at Los Angeles Superior Court cited “irreconcilable differences,” according to TMZ, which obtained the divorce documents.
The first public signs of difficulties between the couple came around Christmas when the two were spotted celebrating thousands of miles apart - Brand in Britain with his family and Perry in Hawaii – and without their wedding rings. Us Weekly reported that Perry and Brand had “a massive fight” just before the holiday.
“This split was something that’s been discussed,” Ian Drew, senior editor at Us Weekly, told ABC News.
“Did she know that he would draw up papers during a holiday right before New Year’s Eve? I think that was a big surprise,” he said.
Just one month earlier, Perry told ABC News’ Barbara Walters in an interview that all was well in the couple’s marriage, and that she envisioned starting a family with Brand. “I think that it’s lovely so far,” the singer said of their marriage.
“Yes, of course,” she responded, when asked about having kids together. “I think that is one of the big reasons why you do get married.”
Sources close to the couple say that Perry’s partying was upsetting to Brand, a recovering heroin addict, and that he did not approve of her circle of friends, who include A-list names such as fellow pop star Rihanna.
It was also reported that Brand submitted the divorce papers at the request of Perry, who did not want to upset her parents.
Reps for Perry and Brand did not respond to ABCNews.com’s requests for comment Friday.
Perry has remained quiet on the split, while Brand spoke out to reporters this weekend. “I’m doing good,” he told London’s Daily Star. “Everything is going to be better next year.”
ABC News’ Luchina Fisher contributed to this report.