Barden files for divorce

Don Barden files for divorce
Tina Lam
January 10, 2011
Detroit Free Press

Ailing entrepreneur Don Barden has filed for divorce from his wife, Bella Marshall, the chief operating officer of Wayne County.

Last week, Marshall asked a Wayne County Probate Court judge to declare her husband incompetent and appoint a guardian for him, saying treatment for late-stage cancer had made the casino owner incoherent and unable to handle his own affairs.

Barden became the first African-American cable franchise owner in 1979 and was the first African American to own a Las Vegas casino in 2001. He built homes in Detroit and a business in Namibia. He has been named by Ebony magazine, the TBS cable network, Black Entertainment Television and Black Enterprise magazine as a top national business leader. He’s been showered with awards, most recently a lifetime achievement award from the Michigan Chronicle newspaper.

In Wayne County court filings today, Barden strongly refuted that, saying he was of sound mind, aware of the case his wife filed and that he had hired his own attorney, Henry Baskin, to contest the allegations.

“I am mentally capable of making decisions affecting my business interests, my marriage and my future,” he said.

He asked the judge in the case to divorce the couple and divide their assets according to a prenuptial agreement made before their 1988 marriage.

  • Kim

    I hope you keep a close eye on this one. Very interested in the out come of this one.