Brian and Megan France settle lengthy court fight

aalexander@charlotteobserver.comOctober 8, 2013 

NASCAR chairman Brian France and his ex-wife have reached a confidential settlement in a big-dollar court fight that involved allegations of threats, broken promises and covert surveillance.

Between 2001 and 2008, Brian and Megan France got married, got divorced, got married again, and got divorced again. Brian France is now remarried.

The 2008 separation agreement stipulated that Brian France pay his ex-wife $9 million, alimony of $32,000 a month for 10 years and $10,000 a month in child support.

Megan France contended that her ex-husband delayed monthly alimony payments and failed to make a $3 million installment promised under the separation agreement. In court files, France argued that he wasn’t required to pay the $3 million because his wife breached the agreement.

Last month, the two agreed to end their court dispute, their lawyers say.

“The parties have voluntarily dismissed all pending litigation and amicably resolved all existing disputes on confidential terms that are consistent with the best interests of their children and their respective families,” John Stephenson, one of the lawyers representing Brian France, wrote in an email to the Observer. “There will be no further public comment about these private matters.”

For years, much of the legal fight was hidden from the public because a judge sealed the France file.

The Observer and news partner NBC Charlotte waged a lengthy court battle to open the file, finally winning in May. The news partners argued that France had no compelling interest that supersedes the public’s right to open courts and files.

The unsealed documents showed that Brian France’s assets totaled more than $550 million in 2005 – and that NASCAR paid him more than $9 million in 2004.

The records also shone light on a contentious divorce. Brian France hired private investigators to keep an eye on his wife, the documents show. Megan France also alleged that her ex-husband threatened to “financially devastate” her.

But the details of the recent settlement will not be made public, the lawyers said. Like many court settlements, it involves a confidentiality clause.

“I think both of them are glad to have it over with,” said Martin Brackett, one of Megan France’s lawyers. “I think they’re both just looking to move forward with their lives.”

Alexander: 704-358-5060

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