Society

Oklahoma Oil Tycoon Ordered to Pay Almost $1 Billion to Ex-Wife in Divorce Settlement

| by Lina Batarags

An oil tycoon has been ordered to pay close to a whopping $1 billion in a divorce settlement to his ex-wife.

According to a court filing made public on Monday, an Oklahoma County judge ordered Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm to hand a total of $995.5 million to his ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm.

Hamm, a staunch Republican, started Continental in 1967; about 68 percent of the firm’s shares are in his name. The couple wed in 1988, at which point Continental was worth less than $50 million; its worth now has risen to $20 billion.

In 2012, Forbes named Harold the 30th richest person in the U.S. and the 76th richest person in the world. He lives in Oklahoma City and owns three other homes, one of which is valued at around $3 million.

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Sue Ann, a former executive at Continental, filed from divorce from Harold in 2012; since then, she has already been awarded around $25 million.

In a court filing from 2013, Sue Ann alleged that her husband was having an affair, which prompted her to file for divorce.

Because Hamm owned his shares before he and Sue Ann married, they belong to him. However, as Daily Mail reports, under Oklahoma law, their “active” appreciation since 1988 is subject to “equitable distribution” with Sue Ann.

The filing revealed that Special Judge Howard Haralson found that Hamm should pay his ex-wife about a third of the funds –$322.7 million—by the end of the year.

The 68-year-old Hamm will then be required to pay the rest of the judgment, approximately $650 million, in installments of at least $7 million per month.

To secure the judgment, Judge Haralson has placed a lien on 20 million shares of Continental stock. The ruling comes after a ten-week divorce trial that ended on Oct. 9.

Sue Ann’s legal team contends that the amount of marital wealth that the court should divide is more than $17 billion; as shown by court filings, Harold’s attorneys argued that the couple’s shared wealth is a tiny fraction of that amount.

Sue Ann, 56, and Harold have two daughters, Jane and Hillary. Hamm was married once previously; he divorced his first wife, Judith Ann, in 1987.

Sources: Mail Online, CNN

Photo Sources: Associated Press