Unsealed court documents provide a glimpse at NASCAR chairman’s wealth

Unsealed court documents provide a glimpse at NASCAR chairman’s wealth

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by JEREMY MARKOVICH & GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Thursday, May 9 at 11:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Newly released court documents are giving us a look inside the finances of one of NASCAR’s most powerful men.

On Wednesday, more than 3,000 pages of court papers related to the divorce of NASCAR chairman Brian France and his ex-wife Megan were opened for public inspection. A judge had ordered those documents sealed in 2008. Divorce files in Mecklenburg County are open, so NBC Charlotte and our news partners at the Charlotte Observer fought that ruling, believing that this was an exception given to no one else. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in our favor earlier this year.

The Frances were twice married to each other; the first union occurred in 2001 and ended in 2004. They remarried in 2005 and separated in 2007, and the previously sealed documents detail that divorce. The documents show that Megan (pronounced MEE-gahn) France was paid $32,500 a month in alimony, $100,000 a year for a nanny (or governess as it’s referred to in the file) and offered a settlement of $9 million. They also show Mr. France was worth more than half a billion dollars in 2007, with ownership of multi-million dollar homes in Charlotte and Florida, million dollar condos in New York and California, and multi-million dollar yachts and private jets.

At one point in the proceedings Mrs. France tries to obtain any e-mails from NASCAR where her husband might have talked about her.

At a court hearing in 2011: Brian France was concerned that Megan might talk to an author, who wanted to write a book about driver Jeremy Mayfield, a claim she denied. For several months before that, Brian had stopped paying alimony, accusing her of violating their confidentiality agreement. A judge ordered him to resume payments, and he paid every dollar she was owed.

Those who are looking for something scandalous in the file are sure to be disappointed; there are no sex, drugs nor rock and roll. What the file does is peel back the financial curtain on NASCAR, a private company, by giving a look into the earnings and assets of its chairman.

NBC Charlotte reached out to the primary attorneys in this case-- the only one we heard from was Megan France's attorney.

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