Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore’s conservative neighbors gawk, revel in his messy divorce


Michael Moore at a 2011 march and rally in Wisconsin. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Celebrity divorces are usually juicy affairs. And documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is proving that even pseudo-celebrity divorces can be tabloid gold.

For weeks, details of Moore’s divorce from his longtime spouse, Kathleen Glynn, have been trickling out of the tomes of court documents related to the case. They have revealed that as with most marriages that come to an end, the disputes between the Moore and Glynn are many.

But at least some residents of Traverse City, Mich. — the sleepy town where the couple has owned a property since 1995 — are reveling in the schadenfreude.

What could be more ironic than the liberal, anti-capitalism firebrand Moore battling with his wife about an ostentatious display of his wealth, they say, according to the Detroit News.

“He criticizes capitalism, but capitalism made him rich,” Gary Tracy, owner of Bellaire Bait and Tackle, told the newspaper.

“Why he decided to live in this conservative area, I have no idea.”

For the gawking neighbors of Traverse City who boat past the home, tongues wagging, the $2 million, 10,000 square-foot property has been a symbol of Moore’s “do as I say, not as I do” lifestyle.

“He is not a common man. No way,” resident Nancy Schwalm told the Detroit News.

Apparently, Moore — maker of “Capitalism: A Love Story,” “Roger & Me” and more — is also offended by the sprawl of his lakefront home, which the News described as “two large houses joined at the hip, bordered by a third house.”

Moore — whose divorce is expected to be finalized Tuesday, according to the News — blames his soon-to-be-ex-wife for presiding over an overly expensive expansion:

In one filing, Moore complained the expansion cost five times more than Glynn said it would. She handled the couple’s personal and business expenses, he said.

“(She) unilaterally wasted a large percentage of the marital fund,” wrote one of Moore’s attorneys, Jason Abel, of Bloomfield Hills.

The divorce documents also include, for reference, six articles from 2011 that make fun of the McMansion.

The divorce, the News reported, “has … Traverse City all atwitter.”

“It’s a big thing,” resident Sheila Cockerline said at a public boat launch near the Moore home. “He’s a big player, our local celebrity.”

The two have been married since 1991; the dissolution of their union is the end of what began as a working-class love story. Both of their fathers worked in the assembly line at a General Motors plant. And early in their careers, they collaborated on some of the films that made him famous: Glynn co-produced Moore’s first film, “Roger & Me,” and his most successful, “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

According to the documents reviewed by the Detroit News, Moore and Glynn claim that they have earned next to no income, save for “royalties and residuals,” since his 2011 memoir project “Here Comes Trouble: Stories from my Life.” But, the News reported:

Moore and Glynn own nine properties in Michigan and New York, including a Manhattan condo that once was three apartments. CelebrityNetWorth.com pegs their wealth at $50 million.

Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at abby.phillip@washpost.com. On Twitter: @abbydphillip
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