In a Reuter’s exclusive release, it has been reported that the Founder of Continental Resources, Harold Hamm would appeal the $1 billion judgment won by wife of 26 years, Sue Ann.
Rout in oil prices sets off the appeal
In a complete turn of events, Harold Hamm has decided to appeal the $1 billion divorce judgment handed out by an Oklahoma judge about a month ago. The judgment was one that he publicly accepted as being “fair and equitable”, saying that he was happy to see the divorce proceedings come to an end.
However, plunging oil prices and changing fortunes that have halved his $19 billion worth of assets and holdings, have made Hamm declare the judgment “unjust and inequitable” in court filings with the Oklahoma County Court. This appeal adds to a former one made by his now ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall, that the $1 billion judgment allowed Hamm to hold on to 90% of his fortunes. Both appeals will be heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Unequal sharing of wealth denied by Hamm – says inflation caused his fortunes to inflate
What is interesting is that Harold Hamm has attributed the rise in his fortune post marriage to the rise in oil prices. He claims his 68% shareholding of Continental rose in value due to passive or market forces like rising oil prices and “contributions made by third parties”.
According to divorce attorneys, the appeal has opened up new avenues for Arnall who may now ask for a larger and fairer share of Continental resources. The trial that ended in November cost the company and its shareholders millions of dollars in legal expenses. At the behest of the judge the hearing was conducted behind closed doors to avoid unnecessary publicity.
Ex-wife and former Continental employee relates her side of the story
Arnall, 58, who is an attorney, has found the $1 billion judgment that was to be paid to her over a period of years in cash and assets as unfair. She has appealed for a more equitable sharing of Continental’s fortunes that rose significantly in value during their marriage. Hamm’s ex-wife attributes part of the rise in Continentals value to her own hard work as an employee of Continental.
As an attorney for the company she claims to have win several multimillion dollar lawsuits against industry competitors which were reinvested in drilling. She also managed Continental’s oil and gas marketing divisions for around 12 years beginning 1996. Oklahoma laws require an equal division of ownership of assets, which were either newly acquired or increased in value during a marriage, at the time of divorce.
At the hearing Arnall told the court that Hamm often refused to put a property in both their names. He was unfaithful, and admitted to having spent $150,000 on a girlfriend. He further said that their marriage had been loveless for years as per court filings.
The most successful oilman during the North Dakota oil boom and the richest American oil driller, Hamm’s success story has been chronicled by friend and fellow oilman Mickey Thompson. In May of 2012, Hamm made it clear that Sue Ann would not be in the book. She was his wife for 26 years though! Hamm, that seems sort of strange.