Family lawyers in Pasadena are familiar with cases involving former spouses who feel entitled to current earnings brought in by their exes. But the recent money dispute between Oscar-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas and his ex-wife of more than a decade, Diandra Douglas, is certainly unique. Diandra Douglas filed papers in New York court earlier this week, claiming that she is entitled to half of his earnings fromWall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which opens on September 24th.
Diandra is claiming that Michael, who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the ruthless Gordon Gekko in the originalWall Street, owes part of the profits from the sequel to the hit film to her. Lawyers for both sides met in New York court on Tuesday to hammer out the details of a case that could cost the actor a bundle if the judge rules in Diandra's favor.
Her team of lawyers says the initial divorce agreement made after the pair split up in 2000 clearly notes that Diandra gets a share of the proceeds from sequels and other projects related to creative properties Michael Douglas participated in while they were married. Director Oliver Stone's newWall Street, her lawyers say, is a clear-cut example of that provision being violated.
Michael's attorney, on the other hand, claims that Diandra is confused about the terms of the initial agreement, which in no way applies to theWall Street sequel. The project wasn't on deck when the couple broke up and there was never a guarantee thatWall Street: Money Never Sleeps would even be made. State Supreme Court Justice Matthew F. Cooper ultimately will be the one who decides the fate of this mess; thus far, he has not issued a ruling or a time frame for one.
The couple was last seen together in April when they both attended the sentencing of their son, Cameron Douglas, who got five years in prison on drug charges. Michael currently is recovering from an operation to remove a tumor in his throat.