Dodgers' Divorce Drama: Baseball Empire Up for Grabs in Billionaire Divorce Case

Dodgers Divorce Drama: Baseball Empire Up for Grabs in Billionaire Divorce Case
Share
Copy

The billionaire couple behind the Los Angeles Dodgers have ramped up the nasty in their ongoing divorce battle, with each claiming ownership of the baseball team.

Frank and Jamie McCourt have been battling in court for nearly a year and are now both going after the team's fortune.

The spectacle has invited a public viewing of their lavish lifestyle, including the six figures they spent to hire an astrologer as a consultant.

Frank McCourt's lawyers say his wife gave up her rights to the team's fortune in exchange for the sole ownership on the couple's six homes. But Jamie McCourt, who has a law degree, is now accusing her soon-to-be ex of fraud, saying she didn't know she was signing away her rights to the Dodgers.

"This Dodger organization is a cash cow," Jamie McCourt's lawyer, Dennis Wasser, said. "There's plenty of money to go around."

According to Forbes magazine, the team has nearly doubled in value since Frank McCourt took over as chairman in 2004. At least one expert says that may be behind Jamie McCourt's accusations.

"That was her nest egg, didn't want to take a risk on his foolish dodgy investment of the Dodgers," said University of Southern California Law School professor Scott Altman. "Well, she turned out to be wrong because the Dodgers have blossomed and the real estate market has gone down."

In initially court documents filed last year, Jamie McCourt listed their net worth as $1.2 billion.

The couple's marital drama became public in October 2009, when Jamie McCourt filed for divorce. Shortly after, Frank McCourt fired her as chief executive officer by sending her a letter on Dodger's letterhead just two weeks before their 30th wedding anniversary.

Jamie McCourt shot back with a letter from her attorneys, likening the move to workplace harassment.

Couple's Divorce Drama Has Had Negative Impact on the Team, Columnist Says

All of the fighting has taken its toll on the team, whose high-priced players have taken heat from fans and late-night comics alike.

"It has littered the place," L.A. Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke said, "and it has turned it into a virtual cesspool of rumor and innuendo and uncertainty and it has definitely effected the team."

Public relations specialist Howard Bragman, chairman of Fifteen Minutes, said the McCourt case has all the trappings of a great movie.

"Who says we don't have great theater in L.A.?" he joked on "Good Morning America" today. "No wonder people are interested here."

"This is the kind of thing you want to do in a quiet room with your lawyers," he said. "We have hundreds of millions of dollars at stake here."

ABC News' Susan Donaldson James contributed to this story.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 11521831.
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...