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Judge orders Dodgers' Frank McCourt to pay his wife more than $637,000 a month in spousal support [Updated]

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ordered Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to pay his estranged wife, Jamie, $637,159 a month in temporary spousal support, plus lawyers' fees pending their divorce.

The amount that Judge Scott Gordon decided upon falls short of the $988,845 that Jamie McCourt requested. More than half that requested amount ($568,829), her lawyers said, is needed to pay the costs, including mortgages, of seven homes and an eighth piece of property in Mexico that are listed in her name. Her lawyers argued that spousal support should include those costs since her estranged husband used to contribute funds to the housing.

The judge specified that $412,159 of the monthly total should go to payment of costs associated with the properties, but ordered the property in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to be sold.

In the months since she made her lofty financial request, Jamie McCourt has been vilified in the court of public opinion and in the courtroom -- where her husband's attorney, Sorrell Trope, likened her to Marie Antoinette.

Both sides have agreed in court that the couple has lived lavishly -- "Every need, every want these people had was met," her attorney, Dennis Wasser said -- but they have bitterly disagreed over how Jamie McCourt should sustain that lifestyle during the divorce proceedings.

Her lawyers argued that Frank McCourt has access to $18 million annually and should not withhold from his wife the funds she needs to maintain the lifestyle that they created together.

"They were their houses and the title was just in her name," her civil attorney, Michael Kump, said of the properties after the spousal support hearing in March. "Jamie didn't go out and buy two houses in Holmby Hills and two houses in Malibu.... They bought two houses in Holmby Hills and two houses in Malibu."

Trope, on the other hand, said Frank McCourt, who is living at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, has an annual income of just $5 million, is trying to cut back and could offer his wife $150,000 a month in support.

Trope said the Dodgers franchise was not Frank McCourt's "personal piggy bank" and that Jamie McCourt should rent some of her properties to generate cash.

He also noted that Jamie McCourt had earned a $2-million salary last year as chief executive of the Dodgers. Her lawyers pointed out that she was fired from that job by her husband.

The court filings on spousal support have drawn many curious eyes eager to pore over the details of the couple's life together -- from the descriptions of their houses and their stays in the finest hotels to the personal hairstylists for both husband and wife.

But the spousal support fight is just a small part of the couple's disagreement. The bigger source of conflict -- which could have major consequences outside their marriage -- is over ownership of the Dodgers.

Frank McCourt argues that he alone owns the baseball team. Jamie McCourt says they share ownership. The trial on that issue is scheduled to begin in late August.

--Carla Hall

[Correction: A previous version of this post referred to Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon as a commissioner.]

Photo: Frank and Jamie McCourt at Dodger Stadium.

Credit: Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (40)

$637,000/month?

That's about $7,644,000/year?

That's about a solid No. 3 starter right there. Just sayin'

How many needy families in the Los Angeles area including people who could maybe go to the bleacher section once a year could be fed on this?

America has become greed and TV exposure.

I gotta get married . . . .

$637,139 would have gone a long way towards acquiring a top of the line starter - not all the way - but a long way.

" ... seven homes and an eighth piece of property in Mexico... "

Crazed people living in a crazed nation.

Lawyers have ruined the sanctity of marriage. I don't really see the point any more (getting married that is).

Dodger fans, u can say goodbye to your shot @World Series as long as the McCourts own the team. $$$ made from the team should have been used to get a bona fide top pitcher like Halladay or Lee to contend but went to fuel their lavish lifestyles instead. just look at the horrendous rotation Dodgers been sending out there. Sad chapter in Dodger history.

Good...whatever...who cares??...while he's at it, maybe he can pitch in and pay some income taxes for a change.

gross ...

It's not just Jamie that is vilified in the court of public opinion. I think that when the "everyday man", or the person who goes to Dodger games sees how these people live, and then they complain that they need almost $700,000 a month to pay for their 7 houses, it rubs us wrong. That's more money than most of us will see in a lifetime and it makes us crabby when we realize that we are paying them that money with our game tickets, $15 parking, $12 beer, and $6 hot dogs. And we thought we were just paying for a spoiled left fielder who missed 50 games last year and has been on the dl for most of this year.

This has to be some kind of Karma coming back at him.

Wow, she is now the ultimate Queen Leader of the Los Angeles cougar scene

why would she want that team ? the the momnet and run. dodgers suck.

Dear Jamie,

Although I don't know the unfortunate circumstances that is causing this divorce, nor it is my business. I would please beg of you, if you are awarded the Dodgers ball club to move it to Brooklyn! Please. Millions of dreams come true and it will revive baseball forever.


Sincerely,
A Brooklyn Dodger fan

I could use $637,000 right about now.

 
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