Continental CEO’s Ex-Wife Left With $1 Billion Divorce Award

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The ex-wife of Continental Resources Inc.’s Harold Hamm lost her bid to reopen a divorce case in which she was awarded only $1 billion of what she said was her former spouse’s much larger fortune.

Sue Ann Arnall, Hamm’s wife for 26 years, forfeited her right to appeal by cashing a check for the judgment in January, the Oklahoma Supreme Court said Tuesday. Arnall “voluntarily accepted the benefits of the judgment,” the court said in dismissing her appeal.

Judge Howard Haralson in November gave the bulk of the family’s assets and investments to the Continental founder, including his majority stake in the Oklahoma City-based company. Divorce attorneys expressed surprise that a billionaire’s wife hadn’t received a larger share of the family’s estate, having predicted she might get as much as 30 percent.

Arnall’s lawyers said she didn’t waive her right to appeal by cashing the check, but was protecting her interests in real estate awarded by the judge. Ron Barber, her attorney, didn’t immediately comment on the supreme court’s decision.

While Hamm’s fortune was estimated at $16.1 billion when the divorce became final last year, plunging oil prices cut that valuation by as much as 40 percent. His net worth fell as low as $9.4 billion in early December by his calculations, before recovering to an estimated $14.8 billion as of Tuesday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Michael Burrage, Hamm’s attorney, didn’t immediately return phone or e-mail messages seeking comment.

The case is Hamm v. Hamm, DF-113451, Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma).

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