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The Untold Truth of Michael Douglas’ first Wife – Diandra Luker

Officially an American Film producer and model, Diandra Luker has reached newfound stages of infamy. Diandra divorced Michael Douglas in 2000, that man she married at the tender age of 19. Douglas is the recipient of no less than two Academy Awards, a Primetime Emmy, and an astonishing five Golden Globe awards. He has 64 credits for films from the classic “Basic Instinct” (1992) to the recent pop-culture favorites “Avengers: Endgame” (2019) and “Ant Man” (2015). The divorce itself was considered scandalous, but Diandra’s actions following the divorce raised even more eyebrows, especially after Douglas was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer. Diandra’s ability as a parent and her ethics have come under fire in the recent news. Whether or not this is justified is left up to the discretion of the reader.

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While celebrities crave the limelight, this is certainly not the coveted attention that Diandra has been seeking.

Early Life and Family

Luker has declined to provide her exact birth date, letting the public know more than the fact that she was born in 1956, in Mallorca, Spain, one of the larger islands of the Balearic group. Luker’s parents’ names are unknown, as are the identities of her siblings – if any. Diandra’s father was a Swiss-American diplomat and ambassador, whose work took him all over the world. While his work meant that he was well paid, and able to provide amply for his family, the nomadic lifestyle did not provide very much stability. By the time Diandra was old enough to attend middle-school, he realized that excessive travel could ultimately be detrimental to her education, so Diandra was shipped off to attend boarding schools to complete her education in some semblance of solidity.

Diandra Luker was a generous and charitable youth who was heavily involved in organizations such as the Red Cross, which unbeknownst to her would later serve her career well.

Education

As stated previously, Diandra Luker attended boarding school to accommodate a steady education considering her family’s nomadic lifestyle. The first boarding school she attended was located in Switzerland. However, despite the intentions of this being a school at which she would consistently study until her graduation, Diandra moved to the US to complete her schooling, attending Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Georgetown from where she matriculated at the age of nineteen in 1975.

Diandra Luker

Diandra remains fluent in Spanish to this day, and requires no help with translation when she visits Spanish speaking countries.

Career

Modeling and Directing

Diandra Luker did not strike out on a career immediately after her graduation. She married young and was well supported by Michael Douglas, who was famous even back then. Although she could now live a life of luxury, Luker was not content to sit back and idle her time away. Diandra remained highly active in her charity work with The Red Cross, a stance that saw her hired by the board of directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her job was not the most conventional venture of the time, as she was entrusted with handling the museum’s Office of Film and Television.

She performed this role exceptionally well, and it was during her work at the museum when she was approached to model. Ford Models presented Diandra with a contract which gave her the opportunity to work among the stars herself, instead of remaining in her husband’s shadow. During her modeling career, she worked alongside some of the most well-known names in fashion of the time. She modeled for Donna Karen, the American fashion designer behind the Donna Karen New York and DKNY labels, as well as for Carolina Herrera, the Venezuelan fashion designer who has dressed multiple first ladies including Michelle Obama and Laura Bush.

Her work in the modeling industry was temporary however, as she soon found her interest lay elsewhere, and branched out into the realm of directing that she had glimpsed during her time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 1991 she documented the tale of an artist, writer, and sculptor with an eye for the Old West in an episode of “American Masters”. She went on to direct “Off the Menu: The Last Day of Chasen’s” in 1997 as Diandra Douglas. Her perhaps most famous piece was the film “Broken Lines” which she produced and released in 2008.

Personal Life

Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker

Diandra’s early life followed the meandering pattern of a fairy tale, meeting her (apparent) true love at nineteen and marrying soon after. Michael Douglas and Diandra Luker met at the swearing-in ceremony of President Jimmy Carter in the US, and what followed was a whirlwind romance, as after merely two weeks of dating, Douglas proposed. The couple married in March 1977 and welcomed their son Cameron Douglas a year later.

Their fairy tale story didn’t last, however, and the couple separated in 1995. While they did not explicitly state what had torn the marriage apart, the media claims that it was the typical Hollywood career folly. What followed was an exceptionally messy divorce, which was only finalized in 2000. Douglas paid a settlement of $45 million in addition to signing over properties including their Santa Barbara Estate in California. At that stage, it was rumored that Douglas would have done anything to escape the marriage, so that he could marry 25-year younger actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Luker was slammed by the media for her purported greed in the divorce. Her parenting skills were also called into question when their son Cameron Douglas served seven years in prison for heroin and other drug-related crimes.

She stoked the fires even higher when she entered another lawsuit with Douglas, demanding a cut of his earnings for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”. This followed on the tail of Douglas’s cancer diagnosis. Initially Luker considered withdrawing the claims, but Douglas’s lawyers insisted that they push forward. Luker experienced several financial pitfalls – not least her former business manager, Kenneth Starr, pleading guilty to fraud, falling prey to Bernie Madoff’s pyramid scheme, and the sale of the Santa Barbara estate falling through. After this slew of financial mishaps, withdrawing her claims became an impossible option in her eyes.

Other Relationships and Children

Diandra Luker dated business tycoon, Zach Hampton Bacon III. After accepting his proposal, Luker refused to marry unless he paid the alimony from Douglas that she would lose. The two remained engaged and had two sons – Hudson and Hawk through a surrogate in 2004, but their relationship fell to pieces soon afterward. Luker adopted her daughter Imira Sestaca from Kazakhstan, who she would retain full custody over, unlike the twins who are under joint custody. Luker had a brief relationship with Michael Klein in 2005 which lasted no more than a couple of months.

Today, Diandra is incredibly supportive of all her children, including Cameron who has written a book on his experiences in prison.

Both she and Douglas intend to campaign with the content of their son’s book to achieve greater mental support of those in the prison system. She enjoys spending her summers with her children in a co-owned house on the island of her youth, where they are free to experience nature and nurture their bilingual heritage. She is not at all conservative in expressing her anti-Trump sentiments, affixing a photograph of his face to a scarecrow in the gardens of her island home.

Appearances

Although not the young and carefree model she was, Diandra Luker has made certain to keep up her appearances and take good care of her body. While she is not embarrassed to show a little grey, Luker tends to die her hair a darker shade of brown, quite unlike the pale brown of her youth.

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She has brown eyes and a slender figure. She is reported to be 5ft 6ins (1071m) tall and weighs 127lbs (58kgs). Her Swiss-American heritage from her father, and Italian from her mother, are apparent in her features and have seen her age well over time.

Net Worth and Salary

Diandra has an impressive net worth of $50 million – the $45 million divorce settlement has an impact. This pales in comparison to that of Michael Douglas’s current wife’s, Catherine Zeta-Jones, $105 million. However, Luker has more than enough to live in luxury and comfort with minimal financial stress, and can provide the best for her children. Luker has no reported source of income, so it is logical to assume that she is living off the alimony of her divorce.

David Leigh

Joined Biography Panda in May 2020. Formerly deputy celebrity editor for Elle magazine. Studied at The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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