Michael Douglas Wed 1st Wife Weeks after They Met – Split after 23-Year Marriage Cost Him $45M
Michael Douglas knew right away that Diandra Luker was the perfect partner when he proposed to her only weeks after they met. But he later lived to regret it.
Actor Michael Douglas and film producer Diandra Luker met in 1977 when she was a 19-year-old student at Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
On the other hand, Douglas was thirty-two years old and proposed to young Luker after two weeks. He did not waste time as the pair wed six weeks later and jetted off to Los Angeles.
American actor Michael Douglas with his wife Diandra Luker at the American Cinematheque's Eighth Annual Moving Picture Ball on September 29,1993 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images
DOUGLAS & LUKER'S ROCKY MARRIAGE
A year later, the couple welcomed their one and only son, Cameron, 43. But Luker had trouble getting accustomed to the Hollywood lifestyle, having grown up in a small town:
“I felt fairly lost in that world, the world of hype and endless make-believe.”
She and her family then relocated to Santa Barbara and eventually the Big Apple, where her position as Mrs. Douglas gave her a sense of stature.
Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker are seen on the streets of Manhattan on April 20, 2010 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images
Luker got involved in fundraising for the Red Cross and produced documentaries. She began modeling for Eileen Ford, appeared on society pages, and got dressed by fashion brands like Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta.
In 2013, Douglas dropped a bombshell and revealed to the Daily Mirror his biggest regret of not divorcing Luker soon enough.
Meanwhile, Douglas was becoming a megastar with movie hits like "Fatal Attraction," "Romancing the Stone," "Basic Instinct," and "Wall Street."
However, things hit rock bottom along the way, and Luker admitted that she had kept mum about their troubles for years that included Douglas's stint at rehab in 1992:
"I don't feel that two wrongs make a right. I'm not into mudslinging, and I refuse to lower myself even to tell you the tip of the iceberg."
Their son Cameron also had his battles and got addicted to heroin and then began dealing with methamphetamine, a charge he pled guilty to in January 2010.
Luker faced harsh criticism from the press about her parenting when Cameron was sentenced to five years in prison. "It's hurtful. I'm not made of cement. I am a human being," she said.
An old friend of hers, Anne Hearst, added that while Luker was blamed for her son's problems by the media, it showed people did not understand addiction because it is a serious issue:
“It can happen to anybody. She and Michael were both loving with their son, got him the best help they could, and neither of them is to blame.”
In 1995, Luker filed a petition for divorce from Douglas after being married for 23 years and cited irreconcilable differences. Douglas asked a Santa Barbara court for joint custody of their then-15-year-old son and a share of their property holdings.
PROLONGED LEGAL BATTLE
Years later, things turned sour when Luker took Douglas to court, stating that she was entitled to part of his earnings from his film "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," since the original was made during their marriage.
The former couple's divorce resulted in one of the largest divorce settlements in Hollywood history, a reported $45 million, including their Santa Barbara estate.
Luker was labeled greedy for wanting a portion of her ex's fortune. She defended herself in an interview with Harper's Bazaar in 2011.
RUMORS OF AFFAIRS
The mom of one said she was not a greedy person by nature and only took the matter to court because her attorney told her that she was entitled to the money. Moreover, she had financial woes; hence she pursued the case.
Before they officially parted ways, Douglas and Luker had previously separated and reunited twice. An insider disclosed the source of tension was the Academy Award winner's affairs. Luker, 66, revealed the other women he was seeing were challenging to deal with.
DOUGLAS' BIGGEST REGRET
In 2013, Douglas dropped a bombshell and revealed to the Daily Mirror his biggest regret of not divorcing Luker soon enough. The exes' divorce was finalized in 2000:
"I have nothing against her, and in fact, I'm very fond of my first wife. But we should have ended that marriage eight or ten years earlier."
The Hollywood A-lister added that it took him a while to realize that if couples go to a marriage counselor to resolve their issues, it is in his best interest to keep the union going because if it falls apart, he has no business. He noted Luker may have agreed with him on that point.
MARRIAGE TO CATHERINE-ZETA-JONES SECRET
Douglas, 77, would later remarry actress Catherine Zeta-Jones whom he has been with for twenty years. In April, Zeta-Jones revealed the couple's secret to their long-lasting marriage in an interview with WSJ magazine.
The 52-year-old attributed their union to maintaining a solid connection, sharing she and her husband have a lot of fun together. More importantly for the lovebirds, the constant love and respect for each other and their mutual sense of humor keep them going.
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