Retired Microsoft Exec and Wife Divide $102 Million Art Collection in Divorce

When retired Microsoft executive and minority Seattle Mariners owner Christopher Larson and Julia Calhoun got divorced this year, some things were easy to divide up.

Larson got to keep the 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (valued at $1.4 million) and Calhoun received 11 Volvos. He kept his baseball memorabilia ($7.4 million) and she got a collection of Victorian posey holders ($5.5 million).

What proved difficult to divide was the couple’s $102 million art collection, which consisted of works by, among others, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, Claude Monet, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Moran, Frederic Church, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and Jasper Francis Cropsey.

After two unsuccessful attempts to divide their 47 piece collection (43 of which were paintings), the couple asked a King County Superior Court judge to handle the daunting task.

When Judge William Downing asked the parties to write down their preferences, Calhoun wrote a 7 page report expressing her emotional reaction to each piece that she wanted while Larson took a more practical approach, asking for a “well-balanced and diversified” collection. Larson also said that he had “lots of wall space to cover” in his home and did not want a “collection consisting of very few expensive paintings.”

In the end, Larson got to keep 24 paintings (valued at $1,942 per square inch) and Calhoun received 19 paintings ($3,082 per square inch). After the court issued its order, the couple elected to do some trading.

Source: Seattle Times, “The art of divorce: She gets the Monet, he gets the Renoir,” Ken Armstrong, July 28, 2012

Husband of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Star Files for Legal Separation

The husband of “Real Housewives” star Adrienne Maloof has filed for legal separation.

Dr. Paul Nassif filed for legal separation in Los Angeles County Superior Court this morning. According to Nassif, the couple signed a prenuptial agreement.

Maloof and Nassif have been married since 2002. Nassif is seeking joint legal and physical custody of their children.

Source:, “ ‘Real Housewives’ Dr. Paul Pulls Trigger on Separation from Adrienne Maloof,” July 30, 2012

Suspended Saints Coach and Wife File for Divorce

Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife filed dueling divorce petitions in Texas.

Payton filed for divorce in Tarrant County on June 14th and his wife Beth filed a counter petition on June 26th.

The couple has been married for almost 20 years. They have two children together: Meghan (15) and Connor (12). Beth Payton is seeking primary custody of the children.

Source:, “Sean Payton, wife file for divorce,” Associated Press, July 3, 2012

Woman Ordered to Pay Ex-Husband $20K for Using Spyware in Divorce Case

A federal court in Tennessee ordered a woman to pay her ex-husband $20,000 for installing spyware on his computers in an attempt to get an upper hand in their divorce case.

James Roy Klumb sued Crystal Goan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee for violating federal and state wiretapping laws. According to Klumb, his ex-wife installed spyware on his computers to intercept his emails and alter some of them to look like he was having an affair.

Goan also altered the parties’ prenuptial agreement to include a penalty clause for infidelity and tricked Klumb into signing it. Under Goan’s version of the prenuptial agreement, the agreement would become null and void if one spouse committed adultery and the injured spouse would get ¾ of the couple’s marital assets.

Goan claimed that Klumb consented to the installation of the spyware to prevent his son from looking at pornography and monitor whether his lumber company’s trade secrets were being leaked to a competitor. However, Goan had previously denied that she had ever installed the software during recorded conversations with Klumb.

The court awarded Klumb $10,000 in statutory damages for the wiretapping violations and an additional $10,0000 in punitive damages for Goan’s “egregious conduct.”

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Ex-Wife Owes $20K for Spyware Divorce Scheme,” Annie Youderian, July 25, 2012

Former MLB Pitcher Kris Benson Files for Divorce

Former pitcher Kris Benson has filed for divorce from his wife Anna.

The couple married in 1999 and has three children. Benson pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He retired from baseball in 2010. Anna Benson starred in “Baseball Wives,” VH1’s short-lived reality show.

According to Anna, she was served with divorce papers in March after discovering evidence of an affair with one of her best friends. Anna says she is receiving $4,000 per month in child support pursuant to a prenuptial agreement that she signed, but she and the children are virtually homeless. She claims that Benson tricked her into selling their 8,000 square foot Georgia mansion and broke a promise to help her get another home.

Kris Benson told a Fox affiliate, “As much as I’d love to comment about these accusations, I think it’s best for myself and my children that I let things be handled legally, not through the media.”

Source:  Fox, “Exclusive: ‘Baseball Wives’ star Anna Benson says husband filed for divorce; kids registered as ‘homeless’ for school,” Meaghan Murphy, July 19, 2012

“L Word” Star Laurel Holloman is Officially Divorced

Actress Laurel Holloman’s divorce from Paul Macherey is official.

The couple married in 2002 and has two daughters together. Holloman filed for divorce in 2011.

The divorce was finalized on June 18th. According to documents obtained by TMZ, Holloman and Macherey agreed to share joint legal and physical custody of their daughters.

Source:, “ ‘L Word’ Star: Boy-Girl Divorce Final,” July 11, 2012

*Special thanks to Rachel Wright for assisting with this blog entry.  Ms. Wright is a marketing major at California State University at Chico.

Wedding Dress Designer Vera Wang Announces Possible Plans to Divorce

Vera Wang has separated from her husband of 23 years.

The president of Wang’s company released the following statement, “Vera Wang and Arthur Becker have mutually and amicably agreed to separate. They remain devoted parents to their two daughters.” Wang and Becker have been married since 1989.

It is unclear whether anyone has filed for divorce. Wang (who is 63) is reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Source:, “Vera Wang – My Marriage Has Gone Flaccid,” July 11, 2012

*Special thanks to Rachel Wright for assisting with this blog entry.  Ms. Wright is a marketing major at California State University at Chico.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer Files for Divorce

California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer (71) has filed for divorce from his wife Nadia Lockyer (41).

The couple has been married for nine years and has a son together (Diego, aged 9). Bill Lockyer filed for divorce in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday.

Nadia Lockyer resigned from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in the midst of a well-publicized drug and sex scandal involving a man that she met at a drug and alcohol treatment center. She was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2010. Her husband funded most of her record-setting $1.6 million campaign.

Source:, “Bill Lockyer seeks divorce from Nadia,” Justin Berton, July 16, 2012