A court battle involving evangelist Joel Osteen's wife could expose the couple's private affairs.
A judge wants Victoria Osteen to reveal to the court how much money she is worth.
The Osteens are partners in Lakewood Church in Houston. They are highly visible from the pulpit of the megachurch in an international ministry. NewsChannel5 anchor Ted Henry said they're also rich.
Osteen gave up his church salary when his book "Your Best Life Now" became a bestseller, Henry reported. He already signed a multimillion-dollar deal for a sequel.
The couple's assets though, like everyone's, are private information.
However, a year and a half ago after an altercation on a plane, a flight attendant sued Victoria, alleging assault.
On Tuesday, her attorney asked a judge to force the couple to reveal their net wealth.
"The courthouse can only award money, but maybe that will happen so that she won't be doing this to anybody else in the future. Maybe that's what needs to happen," said flight attendant's attorney Reginald McKamie.
The judge ruled the Osteens will have to provide a financial statement, but it will remain sealed.
The plaintiff's lawyer will not see it unless a judgment is entered against Victoria.
After the airplane altercation, Victoria paid a $3,000 fine to the Federal Aviation Administration for interfering with a flight crew, but she didn't admit any guilt.
Her lawyer said this time is different, they will not settle.
"When a jury hears what really happened, they won't get a dime, but they'll put the Osteens through this, and in the end, they wind up empty-handed but with a lot of publicity," said attorney Rusty Hardin.
The flight attendant is still flying with Continental Airlines.
Victoria's attorney said they will begin taking depositions in the coming days as the case moves forward.
Copyright 2007 by NewsNet5. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or