Harold Hamm offers $975 million divorce check; ex-wife rejects it

Tue Jan 6, 2015 6:11pm EST
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By Joshua Schneyer

(Reuters) - Harold Hamm, the chief executive of oil driller Continental Resources who is embroiled in a bitter divorce, offered to pay his former wife $974.8 million, but she rejected a hand-written check, lawyers for both sides said on Tuesday.

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

The lawyers said Arnall did not want to accept the check for fear of hurting her appeal of that decision.

Michael Burrage, Hamm's lawyer, said in an email that Arnall could still cash the check if she wants to, and Hamm had borrowed funds to ensure there would be enough cash in his account to cover it.

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

One of Arnall's lawyers, Ron Barber, said that she has no plan to cash the check since accepting Hamm's payment could hurt her appeal. Arnall and Hamm both appeared in Oklahoma court on Tuesday, in part seeking to clarify how much of the November award to Sue Ann should be made available to her pending appeals in the case.

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

Both Arnall, who was formerly Sue Ann Hamm and resumed using her birth name after the divorce, and Hamm have appealed the November divorce judgment. Appeals are set to be heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Reuters reported earlier.   Continued...

Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, enters the courthouse for divorce proceedings with then wife Sue Ann Hamm in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in this September 22, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Steve Sisney/Files