Vanessa Williams and Rick Fox didn’t always agree on how to protect their finances. According to The New York Times, the conflict stemmed from negative experiences surrounding their previous relationships. On Fox’s end, the financial aspirations of his ex-fiancé, who dropped out of school after he made it big, impacted his approach to future relationships. “That showed me she preferred to be the girlfriend of a professional athlete,” said Fox. Later, she insisted on a prenup that, as his lawyers put it, would’ve allowed her to get “everything.” Fox then suggested they wed without a legal agreement, but she refused. “Suddenly, a light bulb went off in my head and I thought, ‘How dumb can I possibly be?’ I said to her, ‘We’re not getting married at all.”’ The experience compelled Fox to find a partner who was financially secure outside of him.
Williams also wanted a prenup because of her previous marriage. ”Vanessa’s approach to prenuptials is: ‘Whatever. I am not going anywhere, you are not going anywhere; if it makes the business people happy,'” Fox said. From there, their teams added a clause that allowed each party to retain their respective real estate investments. Unfortunately, it would come in handy when the couple announced their divorce — something that happened in August 2004.