Jurors return verdict in favor of Graham Weston’s divorce trial

NEW BRAUNFELS — Jurors in the divorce trial of Rackspace co-founder Graham Weston returned a verdict in his favor Monday afternoon, mostly agreeing with his valuation of the assets at stake.

With the jury dismissed, Graham Weston’s lawyers moved to prove his grounds for divorce and divide the community assets.

William Ford, Graham Weston’s lawyer, told Comal County District Judge Dib Waldrip the division of assets they’ve proposed results in Elizabeth Weston receiving 100 percent of the couple’s community estate.

Under the proposal, she would receive assets valued at about $14.2 million. However, that includes the $8 million jurors determined she wasted hiring numerous attorneys in the divorce proceedings and the additional expense that Graham Weston incurred in dealing with that.

Court adjourned Monday evening with no decision on dividing the assets. The parties are scheduled to return to court Tuesday.

Elizabeth Weston objected to the “entire procedure” and asked to come back another day to address the asset division.

“The jury has just come in and given their decision,” she said to the judge. “This is absolutely by ambush being forced upon me how this should be divided.”

Jurors began deliberations around 11:40 am and reached a verdict about 2 pm

When the judge finished reading the jury’s verdict, Elizabeth Weston moved for a mistrial. Just as he had done with previous mistrial requests, the judge denied it.

Jurors had begun their deliberations without hearing closing arguments from Elizabeth Weston.

After Ford gave closing arguments on behalf of Weston, the judge asked her if she wished to present an argument.

“Your honor, I’d like to present an argument but given these circumstances I’m prevented from presenting an argument,” she replied.

Elizabeth Weston has been representing herself during the trial after numerous lawyers she’d hired withdrew from the case. She didn’t put on any evidence or call any witnesses to support the claims she made in a divorce petition filed almost two years ago.

As a result, Waldrip issued a directed verdict against her and allowed Graham Weston’s lawyers to proceed with his claims in a counterpetition for divorce.

On ExpressNews.com: Judge issues directed verdict against Graham Weston’s estranged wife after she calls no witnesses

Neither Graham Weston, 58, nor Elizabeth Weston, 61, took the stand during the trial phase, which began with jury selection Wednesday.

As proceedings got underway Monday, Elizabeth Weston told the judge she was unable to give instructions for jurors to follow in their deliberations as Graham Weston’s lawyers had done. She also told him she was unable to put on a rebuttal to Graham Weston’s case because of not having “adequate discovery and without being able to put on full evidence.”

“The record’s clear about that,” Waldrip replied.

“Well, your honor, I must say, just as I have been abused and silenced in my 30 years of marriage, I feel strongly that I am being abused and silenced in the proceedings,” she said outside the presence of the jury. “I also want to say, bringing in a jury is just to put a face on things … to have some appearance of a trial. But really what’s taking place is just simply a show trial.”

The judge didn’t respond.

Elizabeth Weston filed divorce papers to end the couple’s marriage of more than 25 years in October 2020. She accused him of sexually assaulting her and carrying on extramarital affairs with women in London — allegations he has denied. She was accused of recording her husband and hiring a private investigator to track him for a year and a half.

Jurors heard none of that.

Instead, the jury was treated to dry testimony about the value of Graham Weston’s businesses, as well as marital versus separate property. Two attorneys on Graham Weston’s side also testified about how Elizabeth Weston wasted approximately $8 million in marital assets by hiring some 30 lawyers to represent her in the divorce. She’s disputed the figure.

On ExpressNews.com: Graham Weston’s estranged wife asks judge to recuse himself on eve of San Antonio-area divorce trial

Prior to the trial, Waldrip ruled on a number of motions in Graham Weston’s favor.

The judge determined that property held in trusts — created by Graham Weston’s ancestors before he married and in which he and others have a beneficial interest — are not marital property that can be divided by the court. The judge also ruled that any distributions from the trusts to Graham Weston during the marriage are his separate property. Cloud computing company Rackspace Technology Inc., which he co-founded, received seed capital from certain of the trusts.

The judge also ruled that Elizabeth Weston and many of her expert witnesses would not be allowed to testify at trial because they had not been deposed by Graham Weston’s lawyers.

During his closing arguments, Ford told jurors they’re being asked to resolve “a very narrow set of issues” that are in dispute.

“This case started in a different context than it is now,” Ford said. “There were other issues that have been resolved along the way with the assistance of the court and counsel. As we told you from the outset, there would be very few things that we would need your help on.”

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