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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Douglas is being sued by his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, who is claiming that she is entitled to 50 percent of his earnings from the upcoming 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' as part of her divorce settlement from the actor, according to the New York Post. Michael and Diandra divorced in 2000, and he is currently married to actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, with whom he has two children, Dylan, 9, and Carys, 7.

If it seems strange that Diandra would be seeking her share of her ex-husband's salary for a movie he made a decade after their divorce was finalized ... well, it is. The suit appears to hinge on a clause in Michael and Diandra's divorce settlement that entitles her to 50 percent of any earnings Michael receives from any movies he did -- including residuals, merchandising and ancillary rights -- during their 23-year marriage. According to Diandra's lawyers, that provision includes any "spinoffs" of Douglas' movies.
The 1987 smash 'Wall Street' -- for which Michael won the Best Actor Oscar for his classic turn as Gordon Gekko -- was released during their marriage, and with the sequel set to hit theaters in September, Diandra is ramping up her case. "It's the same character, the same title, just years later," her lawyer, Nancy Chemtob, told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper at a hearing last Wednesday.Marilyn Chinitz, Michael's lawyer, however, simply thinks this is a case of life imitating art, with Diandra taking the famed Gordon Gekko line "greed is good" to heart.
"He doesn't want her to be an albatross around his neck forever," Chinitz said.
Michael and Diandra's divorce remains one of the costliest in Hollywood history. The pair's split was bitter, to say the least, with Diandra accusing Michael of sex and alcohol addiction and multiple infidelities. In 2007, Forbes magazine compiled a list of the 10 most expensive celebrity divorces and listed the Douglases' at number eight. Diandra walked away with an estimated $45 million and the couple's homes in Beverly Hills and Majorca.

Michael's legal team is seeking to have the case dismissed, arguing that the suit should never have been filed in New York in the first place, as the couple's divorce was finalized in California, and that the case has no merit because 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' is a sequel, not a "spinoff." "They're not the same thing," Chinitz said in court.
Diandra's lawyer told the judge she filed the suit in New York because both she and Michael currently reside in the city, and noted that there's no legal reason the case can be heard only in California. Justice Cooper has delayed ruling while he considers whether he should keep the case or send it back to a California court; however, he revealed that he believes there is indeed a difference between a spinoff and a sequel.Michael and Diandra recently came together to support their son, Cameron, who was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in dealing methamphetamine and cocaine in New York City. During Cameron's April sentencing, Michael, who along with Diandra, Zeta-Jones and Kirk Douglas asked the judge for leniency, took a swipe at his ex-wife in a letter to the judge, describing Diandra as "a young mother without any parenting skills handed down from her own parents."
Moral of the story: SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS ARE BINDING! Make sure you clarify property settlements.

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Great post and informative. Finding the right abogado is very important when you need to deal with a law situation.