JUNE 5--With his divorce trial looming, Michael Moore is battling his wife over the valuation of the couple’s assets, while branding her a spendthrift who “unilaterally wasted a large percentage of the marital funds” building a lakefront mansion that has prompted mocking news stories about the activist filmmaker’s wealth.
Moore and Kathleen Glynn are scheduled for trial next month in a Michigan courtroom not far from the sprawling Torch Lake residence that the Hollywood power contends became a money pit that cost five times what his wife claimed she would spend on the home.
Moore, 60, and Glynn, 56, were married nearly 23 years ago and have no children. According to court filings, the couple (seen at right) differs on when they separated. Moore claims it was in August 2010, while Glynn says the pair parted last June, when Moore filed for divorce in a Michigan Circuit Court.
While witness lists submitted to the court are filled with the names of assorted property appraisers, Moore has reported that he intends to call Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel as an “expert witness.” The nature of the expected testimony from Emanuel, co-CEO of the William Morris Endeavor agency, is not described in court papers. Moore has also included Morton Janklow, one of the country’s top literary agents, on his witness list.
Glynn’s witness list includes experts who will testify about the value of Moore’s web site as well as the director’s “celebrity status and continued ability to earn an income.” Glynn produced several of Moore’s films, including “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the highest grossing documentary ever. Like Moore, Glynn is a Flint, Michigan native.
Included among the nearly 300 items on Moore’s trial exhibit list are six stories published in 2011 about the Torch Lake compound. Each of the articles described the luxury residence, while some of the reports noted that the Occupy Wall Street supporter was living like a member of the “1%.” One story described the residence as “Moore’s $2M hypocrite house,” while another article’s headline declared that the director’s “Massive Michigan Vacation Mansion Beyond 99 Percent’s Wildest Dreams.”
Moore and Glynn jointly own “multiple substantial residences and multiple companies,” including Dog Eat Dog Films, the production company behind hit movies like “Roger & Me” and “Bowling for Columbine.” The couple’s real estate holdings include a total of nine properties in Michigan and New York. The duo co-owns a Manhattan condo that was created through the combination of three separate units.
But it is the northern Michigan mansion (seen above) that appears to be the couple’s most contentious asset, and bad press about the home has apparently rankled Moore.
Citing “massive cost overruns” on the home, which was completed a few years ago, Moore has accused Glynn of causing the pair significant financial setbacks. In fact, he refers to the extravagant residence as “her Torch Lake home” in court filings.
In a sworn affidavit, Moore reported that, in 2011, Glynn “discussed with me problems she was having with the money she was spending (which caused us some serious financial losses).” As a result of that conversation, Moore added, it was mutually decided that he would be “responsible for the signing of the checks.” In opposing a motion by Glynn to divide some of the couple’s assets before a formal divorce judgment was entered, Moore claimed that Glynn’s request “suggests that she once again has something to hide.”
While the couple’s combined assets are likely worth tens of millions of dollars, court records do not contain specific valuations for their property. Confidential financial documents, tax returns, medical and health records, and other sensitive documents are covered by a protective order signed by a Family Division judge.
In a series of demands for discovery material, Moore has sought a wide variety of documents from Glynn, including a “list of all vacations/travel from January 1, 2009 include the location, duration and all companions” and a “list, with photographs, of all quilts in your possession whether purchased, gifted, loaned or produced by you.” Glynn is a quilting enthusiast who operates a Facebook page called “The Daily Stitch.”
Moore has also demanded Glynn to disclose whether, during the course of their marriage, she had ever hired a private investigator to “follow, record, photograph” him. Court records do not include Glynn’s reply to that query, which has been made more than once.
In another filing, Glynn noted that--in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre--Moore had been offered financing for an anti-gun film. In an e-mail sent three days after the December 2012 shooting, producer Michael Donovan wrote that he was “personally prepared to finance a film” by Moore about the Newtown, Connecticut killings.
Donovan and Moore, pictured above, shared the 2002 Academy Award for best documentary feature for “Bowling for Columbine.” While Moore acknowledged receiving Donovan’s e-mail, court records do not include the director’s response to the financing offer. (7 pages)