Woman rejects $1.3b divorce cheque

Woman rejects $1.3b divorce cheque

The chief executive of oil driller Continental Resources, who is embroiled in a bitter divorce, offered to pay his former wife US$974.8 million (S$1.3 billion), but she rejected the hand-written cheque, lawyers for both sides said.

Mr Harold Hamm's offer would have paid Ms Sue Ann Arnall the full cash value of what he owes her immediately, based on a November divorce ruling by an Oklahoma County judge.

The lawyers said Ms Arnall did not accept the cheque for fear of hurting her appeal.

Mr Michael Burrage, Mr Hamm's lawyer, said in an e-mail that Ms Arnall could still cash the cheque, and Mr Hamm had borrowed funds to ensure there would be enough cash in his account to cover it, Reuters reported.

Mr Hamm's offer to pay his ex-wife should stop the interest of more than US$93,000 per day that has accrued on the award since November, his lawyer said.

Ms Arnall and Mr Hamm both appeared in an Oklahoma court two days ago, in part seeking to clarify how much of the November award should be made available to her pending appeals in the case.

Oklahoma County Judge Howard Haralson did not offer a dollar amount. Mr Hamm's lawyers said that Ms Arnall could file an application for temporary relief or borrow money to fund her appeal and living costs if necessary.

APPEALS

Both Ms Arnall and Mr Hamm have appealed the November divorce judgment. Appeals are set to be heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Reuters reported earlier.

Ms Arnall, a former Continental executive who was married to Mr Hamm for 26 years, contends that her award of around US$1 billion in cash and assets was inadequate, and allowed Mr Hamm to keep the lion's share of a fortune her lawyers valued as high as US$18 billion.

Mr Hamm had already paid his former wife more than US$20 million during the divorce proceedings.

His appeal contends that the US$1 billion award was too steep. He has lost billions tied to the value of his 68 per cent stake in Continental in recent months, which his legal team blames on the sharp fall in oil prices.


This article was first published on Jan 8, 2015.
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