Entertainment & Arts

Michael Douglas Wall Street earnings case dismissed

Diandra and Michael Douglas in 1994
Image caption Diandra Douglas maintains the case should be settled in New York where both have houses

A judge in New York has dismissed a demand by the ex-wife of Michael Douglas for half his earnings from this year's sequel to 1987 film Wall Street.

In their 2000 divorce settlement, Diandra Douglas was granted a share in proceeds from the actor's work while they were a couple.

She sought earnings from the new film because he played Gordon Gekko again.

The judge said the dispute did not belong in a New York court because the divorce was settled in California.

"After balancing all competing interests and factors, the California court is the more convenient forum for this matter to be tried," Supreme Court Justice Matthew F Cooper wrote in a ruling made public on Monday.

Nancy Chemtob, lawyer for Diandra Douglas, said her client would appeal.

She added that as both parties had homes in New York, "the case should be decided here".

A lawyer for Mr Douglas said he was "very happy" and would continue to fight any appeal.

Interpretation

Diandra Douglas had argued that the the divorce agreement gave her a right to a share in proceeds from spin-offs related to work he did during their marriage.

Michael Douglas maintained that his ex-wife had misinterpreted the agreement and that there had been no plans for a Wall Street sequel when the couple had been together.

His lawyers said she had already made $6.3m (£3.9m) from her husband's other past projects.

Justice Cooper wrote in his ruling: "The ultimate determination of much of the case may very well involve the interpretation and application of the term 'spin-offs' - a term of art most closely associated with Hollywood's film and television industry."

Neither the actor, 66, nor his ex-wife - who were married for 23 years - appeared in court when the case was heard in August.

A week earlier, it was revealed that Douglas - now married to actress Catherine Zeta Jones - was being treated for a tumour in his throat.

His publicist, Allen Burry, said the actor finished treatment last month and was recuperating.

Douglas won a best actor Oscar for the original Wall Street movie while sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which came out in September, has taken more than $100m (£62.4m) worldwide.

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