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Michael Douglas, ex-wife fight over "Wall Street" money


Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra Douglas leave a Manhattan federal court after the sentencing of their son in New York in this April 20, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files
Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra Douglas leave a Manhattan federal court after the sentencing of their son in New York in this April 20, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for Michael Douglas and his ex-wife Diandra squared off in court on Tuesday over rights to the earnings of the upcoming sequel to the movie "Wall Street".

Diandra Douglas is claiming 50 percent of Douglas' earnings for the "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" movie in which he reprises his Oscar-winning role as the greedy corporate raider Gordon Gekko, according to The New York Post and New York Daily News.

Lawyers for the actor, who was recently diagnosed with throat cancer and who was not in court, said Diandra Douglas was entitled only to half the earnings that Douglas made from the original movie in 1987, and other films he made before their 1995 separation.

"It's time for Mrs Douglas to move on," The New York Post quoted lawyer Marilyn Chinitz as saying, adding that the actor does not own the copyright to the Gekko character. "You can't give away something that is not in the contract," Chinitz argued.

Nancy Chemtob, lawyer for Douglas's ex-wife told the civil court judge that "greed is about somebody....who doesn't want to pay his spouse."

The Daily News said Chinitz told the court that Diandra Douglas had earned more than $6.3 million in royalties and DVD sales from her husband's movie projects since their divorce.

The Manhattan judge reserved judgment on the request by Diandra Douglas for a share of the expected earnings from "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps", which opens in U.S. theaters on September 24.

Douglas, 65, formally divorced Diandra in 2000 after 23 years of marriage. He wed British actress Catherine Zeta-Jones later that year and the couple have two children.

The actor announced last week that he had throat cancer and planned to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy and expected to make a full recovery.

"He is really confident, really optimistic. He's doing really well," Chinitz was quoted as saying.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Christine Kearney)

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