The Manhattan Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by Diandra Douglas, the former wife of Michael Douglas, putting to a halt to her bid of receiving a share of profit from the blockbuster movie sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Diandra had sued Michael, 65, in June, claiming that their 2000 divorce settlement entitled her to 50 percent of any money he received from movies that he did during their two decades of marriage. According to the lawsuit, the divorce agreement contained a clause that gave Diandra money from any spin-offs of Douglas' movies from that time-frame, including the 1987 hit Wall Street for which his portrayal of greedy Gordon Gekko won him an Oscar for Best Actor.
According to Diandra's lawyer Nancy Chemtob, Michael had reprised the role of Gekko in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a spin-off of the original movie, and should accordingly share with Diandra the profits he received.
However, Michael's lawyer Marilyn Chinitz argued that Diandra had no claim on Michael's money from the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps as it was a sequel' and not a spin-off.
Chinitz also argued that Diandra's case should be heard by a court in California - where the couple divorced - and not in Manhattan Supreme Court, despite the fact that both Diandra and Michael now live in New York.
Chinitz said California was the proper venue for several reasons, including the fact that California law about community property would control the case where ever it was litigated. Moreover, California judges were already familiar with the Douglas divorce case and the state's judges are used to dealing with issues involving the film industry, including the one at the center of Diandra's claim.
Chinitz had also drawn the judge's attention to the fact that in 1997 Diandra had made a videotaped statement agreeing that any future disputes in the divorce settlement would be heard in a California court.
On Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Matthew Cooper did not look into the merits of the case but dismissed the petition on the ground that a New York court was not the proper venue for Diandra's lawsuit.
Diandra, 52, now has the option of re-launching the action in California, or of appealing the decision.
Michael, who is now remarried to the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, did not offer any comments.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps revolves around the 2008 financial crisis and has grossed nearly $130 million worldwide.