?Tom Clancy ought to write a book about his divorce. He would have plenty of material. The litigation between him and Wanda King, formerly Wanda Clancy until the divorce in 1999,
In 1992, the Clancy’s formed the Jack Ryan Limited Partnership, to write, sell and publish books and engage in related activities. The partnership entered into a joint venture in which Tom Clancy’s name was used on a series of books written by another author. Wanda and Tom agreed to continue the partnership in their Marriage Property Agreement and Tom would be the managing partner.
After the fourteenth book, Clancy withdrew the permission to use of his name. Wanda sued for breach of contract and asked the court to make her the general partner. The Circuit Court for Calvert County, Maryland, agreed and also awarded her over $500,000 in attorney fees. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed.
But the Maryland Court of Appeals sent the case back for the Circuit Court. The appeals judges told the court that it must determine whether or not Tom Clancy breached the Marital Property Agreement in order award attorney fees. It must also decide whether Clancy acted in bad faith in canceling the use of his name to spite his ex wife for the divorce. The Court quote a Seinfeld episode, in which Jerry tries to return a shirt because he didn’t like the sales clerk.
Bob: You can’t return an item based purely
Jerry: Well, so fine then . . . then I don’t want it and then
that’s why I’m returning it.
Bob: Well you already said spite so . . . .
Jerry: But I changed my mind.
Bob: No, you said spite. Too late.
Read the case (PDF).