No Prenup: Oil Baron May Be Forced To Pay $5 billion In Divorce Settlement

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One of America’s wealthiest businessmen is embroiled in a nasty divorce that could spark the biggest divorce settlement in U.S. history.

Harold Hamm, chief executive of oil giant Continental Resources, is facing losing a large portion of his $11.3 billion fortune to his estranged wife Sue Ann Hamm who filed for divorce, alleging that her husband “was having an affair” in 2010, court papers obtained by Reuters say.

The pair married in April 1988 and have two children, Jane and Hilary. Harold, 67, has three children from a prior marriage that ended in divorce in 1987.

In the new sealed docs, filed on March 7, it’s unclear if a prenuptial agreement was ever signed. But if there wasn’t, legal analysts have claimed that the case could lead to a record-breaking financial settlement that could exceed the $1.7 billion News Corporation founder and chairman Rupert Murdoch paid to ex-wife Anna in 1999.

“I don’t know of anything that’s ever been this big,” Barbara Atwood, a professor of family law at the University of Arizona, tells Reuters.

“There’s just so much money involved.”

The settlement could include a split of “marital property,” as well as dividing Harold’s controlling 68% stake in Continental.

Sue Ann, 56, has previously worked at Continental in a number of key posts. She has led oil-industry trade groups in Oklahoma, testified to Congress on behalf of Continental and created Continental’s oil and gas marketing units. However, she is no longer with the company, her lawyer confirmed.

The firm enjoyed a massive growth during Harold’s marriage to Sue Ann. Its share price surged almost 500% in the five years since an initial public offering in 2007.

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