Could This Be the Priciest Divorce Ever?

Harold Hamm could end up paying wife Sue Ann quite a large sum

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 22, 2013 8:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – America's biggest oil baron could soon be setting another record—but this one's not so good. Harold Hamm's second wife, Sue Ann Hamm, filed for divorce last year, and the financial settlement could end up trumping the $1.7 billion current record-holder Rupert Murdoch paid ex-wife Anna in 1999, Reuters reports. Hamm, the 67-year-old CEO of Continental Resources, was No. 35 on Forbes' list of richest Americans last year; he's worth an estimated $11.3 billion and owns a controlling 68% stake in the oil company—a stake that could end up being split with Sue Ann, 56.

Sue Ann, a former executive at the company her husband started, says she discovered in 2010 that Harold had been having an affair. But a big question in the contentious divorce case is when exactly they separated: Sue Ann also filed for divorce in 2005; that case was dropped, but Harold says that's when they actually separated and they've lived apart since then. Sue Ann's attorneys counter that claim (the photo of the couple accompanying this story shows them attending a function together less than a month before Sue Ann most recently filed for divorce). The answer to the date question, as well as any prenup that may or may not exist, will decide the settlement—but, says the attorney who represented Anna Murdoch, Sue Ann "has got to be looking for a couple of billion dollars."

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Hamm attend the TIME 100 gala at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in New York.
Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Hamm attend the TIME 100 gala at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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I don't know of anything that's ever been this big. There's just so much money involved. ... This is going to be really interesting. - Barbara Atwood, professor emeritus of family law at the University of Arizona

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