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Michael Douglas and ex-wife Diandra Luker's controversial court drama over iconic film

The former spouses went to court in 2011

Michael Douglas and his wife Diandra Luker at Valldemossa on August 20, 1994
Megan Bull
TV Writer
26 October 2023
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In 2000, Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra Luker broke records with one of the largest divorce settlements in Hollywood history – a reported $45 million to be exact. After concluding their legal proceedings, Michael and Diandra went their separate ways, with the actor marrying Catherine Zeta-Jones, but by 2011, the former spouses had returned to the courtroom for a second case. 

Diandra Luker attends the 35th Annual Alzheimer's Association Rita Hayworth Gala© Getty
Diandra Luker filed a complaint, stating her entitlement to half of ex Michael Douglas' paycheck from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Following the release of Michael's hit movie, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010), Diandra decided to take her ex-husband to court, stating that she was entitled to half of his earnings from the film. 

Diandra's complaint argued that because she had been married to Michael when the original film, Wall Street (1987), had been released, that she should also receive payments from the sequel. 

Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker at their wedding reception© Getty
Michael married Diandra in 1977 after dating for eight weeks

Michael and Diandra were married from 1977 to 2000. 

"I am not a greedy person by nature," Diandra told Harper's Bazaar in 2011. "I ask myself every night if I should walk away." 

Michael Douglas in the original Wall Street film © Getty
Michael had been married to Diandra when he made the original Wall Street film

According to Diandra, the lawsuit turned into a "huge media circus," resulting in negative press that she deemed "hurtful". Anne Hearst, an old friend of Diandra's, also spoke to the publication, revealing her shock at the "cruelest comments" received by the 67-year-old. 

Most of the criticism originated from the fact that Diandra had filed her complaint in June 2010, two months before Michael received his throat cancer diagnosis. 

Michael Douglas attends the 71st Emmy Awards © Matt Winkelmeyer
At the time of the court case, Michael had been diagnosed with throat cancer

"Michael didn't know he was ill, I didn't know he was ill, and the gods didn't know he was ill," explained Diandra. "I am not into going after sick people for things that don't belong to me."

While Diandra attempted to postpone the case, so that Michael could concentrate on his cancer treatment, the actor's legal team decided to push forward. "Because we felt that it was a frivolous lawsuit and Michael did not need to have any further worries... I thought it was better to proceed to get this matter adjudicated," said attorney Marilyn Chinitz. 

Diandra Luker at a Donna Karan event in New York, 2023. © Getty
Diandra's claim was denied

Ultimately, Diandra's case was denied, and she received no money from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. After deciding to raise a second bid over the issue, by June of 2011, a Manhattan judge stated that Diandra's request to overturn his original ruling had been denied. 

Following the lawsuit, Michael and Diandra's relationship has improved. In a 2013 interview with The Mirror, the Ant-Man star revealed that he was "very fond" of his first wife, although he feels they should have ended their marriage "eight or 10 years earlier," than they actually did. 

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