After cashing $975 million divorce check, oil man’s ex-wife vows to push for more

January 12, 2015, 9:33 PM UTC
Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources Inc., stands
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 22: Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources Inc., stands for a photo near an oil rig outside Watonga, Oklahoma, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. Hamm, owner of a 150-person oil company in 1988, began leasing 30,000 acres of Montana and North Dakota prairie he knew wouldn't produce oil. For 12 years, he sat back and watched rivals fail to draw from rocky ground. Today, geologists say the area may contain more oil than Saudi Arabia, making him the richest U.S. oilman. (Photo by Larry Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Photograph by Larry Smith — Bloomberg/Getty Images

(REUTERS) – Sue Ann Arnall, the ex-wife of Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm, vowed on Monday to press on with an appeal of her divorce case even after she cashed a $975 million check that Hamm provided her.

In November, an Oklahoma court ordered the Continental Resources chief executive to pay his ex-wife about $1 billion in cash and assets when the couple divorced after a 26-year marriage. The check for $975 million, which Arnall cashed last week, represented the entire balance owed by Hamm according to the court’s decision.

But Arnall has appealed the case in the Oklahoma Supreme Court, claiming that the earlier ruling allowed Hamm to keep the vast majority of a marital estate worth up to $18 billion. Legal experts say it may be more difficult for Arnall to pursue an appeal after accepting the benefits of the trial court’s award.

“I will not dismiss my appeal and do not feel that my right to appeal should be denied because I have accepted, in the interim, a small portion of the estate that we built over more than two decades,” Arnall said in a statement through her lawyers.

Last week, one of Hamm’s lawyers, Craig Box, told Reuters that Arnall’s deposit of the oil man’s check in anOklahoma City bank was likely to end her case. If she continues an appeal, Box said, Hamm will try to have it dismissed on grounds she has already accepted the benefits of the earlier ruling.

The Hamm divorce has been ongoing since 2012 and the November ruling was among the largest ever for U.S. divorces.

Last month, Hamm too had pledged to appeal the decision, after a sharp fall in oil prices cut billions from his personal fortune. The earlier court ruling allowed Hamm to retain his 68 percent stake in Continental.