“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” might not come out until Sept. 24, but the sequel has already begun for star Michael Douglas … in a New York court.
Lawyers for his ex-wife Diandra Douglas (pictured left with her former husband earlier this year) were in court today claiming that the 65-year old actor, who won an Oscar in 1987 for his performance as shameless financier Gordon Gekko in the first “Wall Street,” owes her half his earnings from the upcoming sequel.
The former Mrs. Douglas’ lawyers say that under the terms of the couple’s 2000 divorce she is entitled to all revenue that comes from films, TV and others such properties that are spawned from work the son of "Spartacus" did during their more than 20-year marriage.
Not that this is actually anything new for the couple.
According to what Michael Douglas’ own lawyer Marilyn Chinitz told the Associated Press, Diandra, who received more that $45 million in the couple’s final divorce settlement, has been paid around $6.3 million in residuals from such projects in the past decade.
Tuesday Chinitz pleaded the actor’s case in Manhattan, not altogether rhetorically asking the court, “when does it stop?... she's not Mrs. Michael Douglas" anymore.”
The lawyer accused Diandra of not letting go and trying to “claw back” more money from her ex-husband. The lawyer also argued that the couple’s unique profit-sharing scheme doesn’t encompass ”Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” because there was no certainty that Douglas, who married the then 31-year-old Catherine Zeta-Jones soon after his divorce from Diandra was finalized, would even appear in a sequel to the Oliver Stone film -- or that there would ever be one.
Unsurprising that Diandra and her lawyers see it differently.
"My client is not greedy,” said Nancy Chemtob. “The exact opposite is true. Mr. Douglas is seeking to shirk his financial responsibility that was entered into when he signed this contract."
Neither Michael nor Diandra actually appeared in court Tuesday.
Individually and collectively the couple haven’t had the easiest time recently. Their 31-year-old son Cameron was sentenced to five years in jail in April for dealing drugs and earlier this month it was announced that Michael Douglas has a tumor in his throat.
The actor is undergoing treatment. No further hearing dates have been set in the Douglas vs. Douglas case … but this War of the Roses is far from over.