Court docs unsealed in NASCAR chief's divorce
- Article by: MITCH WEISS
- Associated Press
- May 8, 2013 - 7:38 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - NASCAR chief executive Brian France said in court documents that his former wife spent a "staggering" amount of his fortune on her family and friends. Megan France said her former husband spent little time with their two children and became verbally abusive when he didn't get his way.
Voluminous court documents unsealed Wednesday revealed new details about the couple's bitter second divorce, years after the contentious 2008 breakup. France's lawyers had fought for years to keep the records confidential.
France married the Charlotte woman twice and they divorced twice. Their first marriage lasted from 2001 to 2004. They married again in 2005 and the second divorce was finalized in 2008.
Several news organizations fought to unseal the documents, arguing those were public records, and a North Carolina appeals court last year agreed. So on Wednesday, 3,000 pages of documents were released, including dozens of court motions, depositions and emails.
According to statements in open court, the couple's 2008 separation agreement included paying Megan France $9 million, alimony of $32,000 a month for 10 years and $10,000 a month in child support.
Telephone messages left by The Associated Press with the law firms representing each weren't immediately returned Wednesday.
A NASCAR spokesman told The AP on Wednesday evening that the organization doesn't comment on lawsuits.
The unsealed records showed Brian France is wealthy.
A 2005 financial statement included in the court documents show he had $564 million in total assets — including stock and real estate — and that he was likely to inherit "substantial wealth from his parents," which could exceed $1 billion. Founded by his grandfather, NASCAR is a multibillion dollar business and one of the most popular sports in the world.
But the records also show Brian France continued to fight after he agreed to the deal with his former wife.
Megan said she was the primary caregiver for their twin children born in 2006.
She said in the records that she was trying to create a stable home for them in Charlotte, while France spent most of his time in Daytona Beach, Fla., the headquarters for NASCAR.
"Brian has demanded that I make the children available whenever and wherever he desires," she said in a March 2, 2011 affidavit. "He expects me and the children to be at his `beck and call' regardless of the specific terms of the agreement."
She said that when she doesn't agree, he takes actions to "punish me," including withholding money.
In one case, court records claim Brian France failed to pay $52,000 in governess expenses from August 2008 through February 2009. He also failed to give her $3 million that she was due on Jan. 1, 2009, according to the records.
"Brian becomes verbally abusive when I will not follow his dictates...I believe Brian is continuing to try to punish me for not being willing to change the terms we agreed to in the agreement because he is now unhappy with them," she said in the documents.
But France, in a Sept. 27, 2008, email to Megan told her he was unhappy with the way she spent money.
He said in the court documents that she spent a staggering amount of money over the years on her friends and family.
The documents also indicated that France, who has remarried, had hired a private investigator to look into his former wife's whereabouts.
He also claimed in the documents that she violated terms of their confidentiality agreement by talking to their friends about the settlement and making disparaging remarks about him.
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