Business, Economics and Jobs

Billionaire oil tycoon Harold Hamm facing the most expensive divorce in history


Billionaire Harold Hamm with his wife Su Ann Hamm at the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City.


Fernando Leon

Billionaire oil baron Harold Hamm is facing the largest divorce settlement in history following claims by his wife, Sue Ann Hamm, that he had an affair.

The matter could also threaten the tycoon's control of America's thriving oil company, Continental Resources, Reuters reported. 

According to Reuters, Hamm's second wife, Sue Ann Hamm, filed for divorce on May 19, 2012, Oklahoma court records show.

While documents in the case are sealed, Reuters obtained a March 7, 2013 filing, in which Sue Ann Hamm alleges that Hamm "was having an affair" that she discovered in 2010.

It is not known if the couple signed a pre-nup before their marriage in 1988, but legal analysts believe it has the potential to lead to a record settlement surpassing $1.7 billion paid by News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch to his ex-wife, Anna.

CNN reported divorce attorneys speculated Friday that the settlement could force a sale of some of the Hamms' shares, especially if the settlement is in the billions of dollars.

Forbes ranks the 67-year-old as the 35th-richest person in the country, with a net worth of $11.3 billion. 

The couple have two adult children. Harold Hamm has three children from a prior marriage that ended in divorce in 1987.

Continental Resources issued a statement Friday, saying it does not anticipate any settlement would have a material impact on the company, reported Business Insider.

"Harold Hamm has announced that a petition for divorce is pending in the District Court of Oklahoma County. This private matter has not and is not anticipated to have any impact or effect on the Company's business or operations," the statement read.