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Gordon divorce saga ends with settlement

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.

Four-time Winston Cup champion paid an undisclosed share of his fortune to settle a bitter divorce. Gordon's seven-year marriage to Brooke Gordon ended with a final judgment filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court this week. The settlement agreement was not recorded with the court. "Brooke is very happy the divorce is now over, and she wishes well in his racing career," said her attorney, Jeffrey Fisher, who refused to comment on the terms of the settlement. "The parties entered into an amicable agreement after a lengthy mediation," said Thomas Sasser, Gordon's West Palm Beach-based attorney. The high-profile divorce was scheduled for a six-day trial in October before Circuit Judge Peter Blanc in Delray Beach. But attorneys said each party negotiated their share in the split. Brooke Gordon, 32, waived her right to alimony. The court filing grants Brooke $15 million in liens on the couple's $10.2 million, 23,095-square-foot oceanfront home in Highland Beach and a Delray Beach property worth $1.36 million. But the court filing does not detail the full extent of the division of assets, which include boats, a Falcon 200 airplane, Ferraris, Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes. Normally, assets accumulated during a marriage are divided 50-50 under Florida law. But the 31-year-old driver asked for a greater share because of his dangerous occupation. He claimed in court filings that he had a net worth of $48 million. His wife argued the figure was vastly understated. The divorce marred the storybook relationship of the couple, who met at Daytona 500's Victory Lane in 1994 after he won the race. Jennifer Brooke Sealey was a model holding the title of Miss Winston, and was NASCAR's golden boy. Brooke, who filed for divorce in March 2002, may have gotten an upper hand in the dispute when her attorneys discovered that Gordon's financial interest in racing teams were valued at five times more than what he reported in affidavits. To gain information, Brooke Gordon's attorneys researched the value of racing teams, going so far as to subpoena car owners during Daytona 500 week in February. A motion filed on behalf of Brooke Gordon indicated the appraisals showed Gordon's interest in the racing teams could be worth as much as $45 million, much more than 's stated value of $9 million, according to court records.

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