Jamie McCourt wanted to 'renege' on post-marital agreement involving Dodgers because of political ambitions, attorney says
Jamie McCourt wanted to "renege" on an agreement that made the Dodgers her husband’s personal property because that would have limited her effectiveness to pursue potential runs for public office, perhaps for mayor of Los Angeles, governor of California or president of the United States.
"She realized she needed the Dodgers as her platform to accomplish this," Steve Susman, Frank MCourt’s attorney, said in closing arguments in the couple’s divorce trial Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Susman said Jamie had not contested the 2004 agreement until Frank started to balk at putting the couple's eighth home in her name -- she had enough of a nest egg with seven homes, Susman said -- and by preparing a grant that would transfer ownership of the Dodgers to the couple's sons but not to Jamie.
"For perhaps the first time in the couple’s history, Frank was telling Jamie no," Susman said.
The McCourts took over the Dodgers in 2004, with the baseball organization announcing at the time that "Frank and Jamie McCourt were confirmed as the fourth owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers."
That statement is the central issue in the couple’s divorce: Does he own the team or do they own it jointly?
Frank McCourt wants the court to enforce a post-marital agreement -- signed in 2004 by both spouses -- that says he is the sole owner of the team and that she is the sole owner of the couple's homes.
Jamie McCourt, who in 2009 became chief executive of the team and the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball, wants the agreement thrown out.
Jamie McCourt has maintained she never would have knowingly signed away her right to the Dodgers. She says she signed the agreement without reading it, trusting her husband when he said the document was designed to protect the couple's homes from creditors.
Frank McCourt says the document did exactly what he said it did and that Jamie McCourt wanted it that way, that she insisted upon such an agreement so as not to risk losing the homes if the McCourts failed to reverse the Dodgers' financial losses.
-- Bill Shaikin