Burkle divorce papers unsealed

first_imgCourt documents unsealed Thursday claimed billionaire Ron Burkle tried to shortchange his wife by forcing her to accept an unsecured agreement that would pay her $30 million plus interest and a house if the couple ever divorced. An appeals court ordered the documents to be released after the California Supreme Court nullified a law Wednesday that critics said had been sought by Ron Burkle to shield financial records of people getting divorced. Lawyers for Janet Burkle, who filed for divorce in 2003, argued in the documents that her husband concealed pending mergers in 1997 – when the agreement was reached – that would create one of the largest supermarket chains in the nation. “Ron knew that he had already successfully negotiated two huge merger transactions generating many times $30 million,” her lawyers said. Ron Burkle, whose estimated personal wealth exceeds $2 billion, is also a well-known political contributor who has given millions of dollars mostly to Democratic candidates and campaigns. He’s also given more than $200,000 to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his campaigns. He cited the state privacy law in his case with his wife and argued that information about his business transactions and holdings should be kept confidential. Sensitive information is often blacked out of court records, but the law in question allowed the entire document to be sealed and did not give judges any discretion. Lawmakers have been mulling a less restrictive law, but an Assembly floor vote was postponed indefinitely last week. “Legally, we’re still sort of where we were the day before” with the appeals court decision, said Sen. Kevin Murray, D-Culver City, a sponsor of the revised bill. The current law must go back to the lower court and remains in abeyance, he said. Murray hopes to move his bill to a vote in the Assembly.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThrough his Yucaipa Cos., Ron Burkle owned the Ralphs and Food 4 Less grocery chains. The 2nd District Court of Appeal sided Thursday with Ron Burkle, rejecting the claim that he had hidden assets. Burkle was pleased with the decision, said his attorney, Dennis Wasser. “After receiving the benefits of the settlement for several years, Mrs. Burkle simply decided she wanted more,” Wasser said. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Burkle’s desire for privacy was exploited as a tactic in this case.” Attorney Hillel Chodos, who represents Janet Burkle, did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. last_img

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