SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The ex-wife of Wynn Resorts Inc Chief Executive Officer Steve Wynn is seeking to lift curbs on the sale of her shares in the casino operator, saying in a court filing that the restriction lacked legal basis after the company ousted shareholder Kazuo Okada by forcibly redeeming his stake.
Elaine Wynn, who ended her 41-year marriage in 2009, filed for a court ruling to invalidate a 2010 agreement that she said existed mainly to ensure control of the company by Okada, Steve Wynn and herself.
But the company forcibly bought back Okada's shares at a deep discount this year after accusing him of "improper" payments to foreign gaming officials.
The Japanese tycoon denies those accusations.
In her filing on Tuesday, Elaine Wynn said she needed the restrictions lifted to support her charity work as well as estate-planning for her children.
"They do not serve a legitimate corporate purpose but rather are intended to maintain the controlling position of" Wynn and Okada, the filing said. "As such they are an impermissible and unlawful restriction on the alienability of Ms. Wynn's shares."
Elaine Wynn owns just under 10 percent of the company, according to Thomson Reuters data, about even with her ex-husband.
The company declined immediate comment.
Last year Okada and Steve Wynn had a public falling-out. Sources at the time attributed it to a marquee Philippine casino project that Okada wished to pursue, but that his longtime friend refused to back.
Since January, the pair have exchanged lawsuits.
(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)