Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wall Street III: Diandra Douglas' Lawsuit Never Sleeps
In November, we wrote that Michael Douglas' "Wall Street" earnings were safe for a time after a judge threw out his ex-wife's lawsuit. If his ex-wife, Diandra Douglas, has her way with a renewed lawsuit over marital property division, his earnings for a film he made 10 years after their divorce will be split 50/50.
Michael Douglas returned to court this month to contest the renewed lawsuit brought in New York court involving his earnings for the 2010 film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." The case was previously dismissed last November when Judge Matthew F. Cooper decided that California would be the proper venue for the lawsuit.
Diandra Douglas is arguing that New York is the proper venue for her lawsuit because both she and Michael have ties to New York. She believes that she should be awarded 50 percent of Michael's earnings from the 2010 film under the divorce agreement. Their divorce agreement awarded her half of all earnings for Michael's acting work during their marriage, which officially ended in 2000.
She is arguing that because the 2010 film was a sequel to the 1987 "Wall Street" film that Michael made during their marriage, and because Michael was reprising his role as the greedy Gordon Gekko, she should be entitled to half of his earnings for that film. Michael Douglas' attorneys are arguing that the divorce agreement did not include any future films released. To date, Diandra Douglas has been awarded an estimated $50 million in the divorce settlement.
Judge Cooper noted that the original divorce papers clearly state that the California court system retains jurisdiction over the case. Michael Douglas' lawyers are arguing that not only should Diandra be "ashamed of herself" for returning to court on the matter, they believe she was awarded what she deserved when the divorce was finalized years ago.
This is a rather unexpected move for Diandra Douglas. When Diandra's lawsuit was dismissed in November, it appeared that the next logical step would be for her to file suit in California. However, it appears that Diandra really wants her day in court to be in New York.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, "Michael Douglas Ex-Wife Back in Court on 'Wall Street' Suit," Karen Freifeld, 4/12/2011