New Age channeler J.Z. Knight yesterday was ordered to pay her ex-husband $792,000 to settle a divorce suit.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bruce Cohoe, in a 25-page decision, said Jeffrey Knight didn't get all he was entitled to when he and J.Z. separated in October 1988.
J.Z. Knight, who lives in a $3 million compound in Yelm, built a multimillion-dollar empire and attracted thousands of followers in the 1980s by dispensing advice through a 35,000-year-old Atlantis warrior named Ramtha whom she claimed to be able to "channel."
Cohoe said the value of an integral part of J.Z. Knight's channeling business wasn't taken into account when the assets were distributed in the original divorce settlement, in which Jeffrey Knight received $120,000 and some property.
The judge treated the channeling business as "an undistributed asset," said Mary Gaudio, Jeffrey Knight's lawyer.
The judge allowed J.Z. Knight to keep the business but ordered her to pay 50 percent of its estimated value at the time of their separation, Gaudio said.
Cohoe made his decision after an eight-week trial that ended in late October. Jeffrey Knight, 36, who was her fifth husband, claimed J.Z. Knight duped him into accepting the original 1989 settlement by threatening to sever his access to Ramtha. The couple were married for about five years.
Cohoe ordered J.Z. Knight to pay the settlement within three years, at the rate of at least $10,000 per month.