The New York Post is reporting that Michael Ovitz, former head of Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and former Disney president, has split from his longtime wife Judy Reich. The couple has been together for over 40 years, since their days as students at UCLA. They have three grown children.
Ovitz and four former William Morris agents founded CAA in 1975. CAA became very profitable and very powerful in the entertainment industry.
After 20 years, Ovitz resigned from CAA in 1995 to become president of the Walt Disney Company under chairman Michael Eisner. He reportedly received $131 million in stock options to join Disney. His tenure at the company lasted a mere sixteen months. Ovitz was terminated by Eisner and received at least $38 million in cash as a severance package.
His subsequent business venture, another talent agency called the Artist Management Group was sold to Jeff Kwatinetz for an estimated $12 million. AMG was merged into Kwatinetz’s management group The Firm.
The Ovitzes recently built a new Los Angeles home and have their Brentwood mansion on the market for $8.5 million.
Unless the couple has executed any post-nuptial agreements since their marriage, California law will result in the equal division of community property (and, in all likelihood, the great majority of their property will be considered community property). There will likely be a substantial award of spousal support due to the length of the marriage and the asset and income level attained during the marriage.
Because their children are grown, the Ovitzes will not have to consider child custody, visitation or child support issues in their divorce.