Actor Michael Douglas and his first wife Diandra finalized their Southern California divorce a decade ago, but she now insists their California family court settlement entitles her to half of his profits from a movie that hasn’t even been released yet. According to the New York Post, Diandra has filed suit in a New York court seeking half of the money Douglas will receive from “Wall Street 2”, a sequel to his 1987 Oscar-winner. The movie is scheduled to premier in September.
According to the celebrity website PopEater, Diandra’s claim is based on a clause in the couple’s California divorce settlement giving her half of the proceeds from work Douglas did during the couple’s marriage. Since Douglas plays the same character in the new movie that he did in the original, she is asserting that the forthcoming film fits the settlement’s definition of “residuals, merchandising and ancillary rights”.
According to the Post, Douglas’ lawyers have filed papers claiming that a “sequel” is not the same thing as a “spinoff”. Were the new film the latter, they say, she would have a case; but, they argue, it is the former – and that means she is not entitled to a cut. Douglas’ lawyers are also arguing that California family court is the proper venue for the suit since the couple were divorced in the state. Diandra’s attorneys say they filed in New York because that is where both of the ex-spouses now live.
This case highlights the fact that unexpected issues that can arise long after the fact in an Orange County divorce settlement. National media have recently highlighted cases of other long-divorced spouses (though, to be fair, not movie stars) seeking to renegotiate their settlement agreements because of changed economic circumstances. Such situations are moments when having an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer in your corner is of the utmost importance. A Los Angeles or Orange County family law attorney can help identify areas in your settlement that may become problems in the future, and can suggest ways to avoid trouble.
New York Post: Michael Douglas’ ex-wife greedy for his ‘Wall Street 2’ $$