Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Frank McCourt portrays wife as having an appetite for houses, financial security

In his fourth day on the stand, Frank McCourt portrayed his wife, Jamie, as a woman with a voracious appetite for houses and financial security. 

At one point, he testified in their divorce trial, "She asked me for a quarter of a billion dollars -- $250 million."

Frank's response: "I told her no. I thought it was ridiculous."

"Was she happy about that?" asked his lawyer, Steve Susman.

"I would say no," McCourt said.

It was all part of Frank McCourt's lawyer's effort to discredit Jamie's contention that the marital property agreement was only a hedge against creditors, not a blueprint for how they would later divide their assets. Her husband's testimony painted a picture of Jamie as a wife using the marital property agreement to aggressively grow her own separate nest egg that, like a mother bird, she fiercely protected from others, namely her husband.

Meanwhile, McCourt portrayed himself as struggling to make his wife happy.

When she first broached the idea of changing their marital property agreement, he told her he would consider it. But when he read a first proposal to keep the houses in her name and make everything else community property, he refused.

"It was absurd," he testified. "It was saying what's mine is mine and what's yours is ours. I thought that was patently unfair."

In an e-mail to Jamie where he suggests they reduce their debt, he said that would be more difficult to do when the debt "is a moving target, i.e. when 4 houses become 8...these are all really big commitments right now financially but I am willing to do it because I want to make you happy." 

His lawyer pointed out that he seemed to rarely challenge his wife, even cracking that one of his e-mail responses to her was "namby pamby."

Frank McCourt said that as they added more houses -- the two on Charing Cross Road in Holmby Hills, the two in Malibu -- she insisted they be included as her separate property. And when he wanted to buy the $24-million Lautner house in Malibu -- "Malibu 1" as it's called in court -- and keep it as his separate property, she balked, he said, insisting it be hers. He acquiesced.

And he paid for her houses, he told the court, taking a $60-million mortgage on his Chavez Ravine property and using two-thirds of it to pay off her homes.

"She lobbied to pay off all the debts on the houses and I did," he testified. "Then she had more homes and more debt and she was lobbying to pay off that."

It boiled down to "a fundamental difference" about how to live, he said. "We had a disagreement about how many houses you need, how much security you need ... how many people you need around you," he testified.

-- Carla Hall

Comments () | Archives (48)

Gimmee back the Dodgers! Its obvious that the McCourts are both greedy and stupid, so sell the team already. The McCourts couldn't buy any more bad publicity.

This is what $19,000,000 of legal fees produce! Judge Judy would have this over in 30 minutes.

Uh, Frank. if SHE'S "obsessed" with wealth, as you claim, you must take the position you are not.

So give her the 250M, then, if wealth isn't your "obsession" either.

Quite honestly, this is nauseating.

Let them eat cake, indeed.

Sounds to me as though Jamie is terrified of having debt and not having enough money to cover it. Is that "being obsessed with wealth", as Frank and his lawyers paint it, or merely being "obsessed" with financial security? Or is that the same thing?

Either way, these two have to go. Neither should be allowed to own the Dodgers. Frank is a liar of the nth degree and a conman that a crooked politician would envy.


In the end both will die with exactly the same thing....... Nothing.

How much do you really need?

How ridiculous. Storing up earthly treasures and ignoring eternity.

the dodgers are gonna be held hostage for the next 2 years. I'm so pissed at these chowds, I hope they both go broke paying for lawyers. After the judge orders frank to sell the Dodgers, of course.

That Jamie broad is one greedy woman. Jeez. $250,000,000? Go watch Eddie Murphy's CLASSIC skit, "Raw" about marriage. This is why I will never get married. Not that I have a billion bucks, but it's the principle.

"What's mine is mine and what's yours is ours." Pitiful.

What a greedy woman. She sounds like an empty, miserable shell of a person.

typical golddigger, and a typical sucker who married a golddigger. there's two born every second.

I'm not sure about him, but it seems that she has been trying to fill a huge void in her life, not with things that will matter, in the end, like love, relationships, caring, but with material such as houses and money. She also seems excessively greedy and opportunisitic. But all of that will NOT fulfill her!

What the heck? She isn't even that awesome to break your back over.... She would be left with a cardboard box and a bag of animal crackers, acting like that!

An ambitious gold-digger obsessed with wealth is putting it mildly.

She was married to him for 30-years and is entitled to 1/2 of EVERYTHING purchased through earnings during that period. It's pretty simple, just cut everthing in half and each person gets their fair share!

Bad characters. Pursuit of wealth seems to be their (especially her) religon. Can't some normal, decent people buy the Dodgers?

I can't afford to pay my mortgage and soon losing job, would you spare with us your other house. OMG!!!

She did come from a very rich family, so I am not sure that the term gold digger is applicable. But very greedy is definately a proper definitaion.

They deserve each other - Dodger fans deserve better. Enough said.

so she is a house ho.....ok got it and ?

What is a "chowd, is it short for chowder head? Boston Chowder, I presume.

Absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind would buy a Dodgers ticket to help fund the McCourts dream world. I've loved the Dodgers for 25 years, but the McCourts won't get a single dollar from me.

Please, just SELL the team!

Absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind would buy a Dodgers ticket to help fund the McCourts dream world. I've loved the Dodgers for 25 years, but the McCourts won't get a single dollar from me.

Please, just SELL the team!

Absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind would buy a Dodgers ticket to help fund the McCourts dream world. I've loved the Dodgers for 25 years, but the McCourts won't get a single dollar from me.

Please, just SELL the team!

Shame on Major League Baseball for allowing these two buy/strip/indebt the Dodgers. How did they even qualify for financing? It's clear by their actions that they only saw the Dodgers as a property to be stripped and sold off or mortgaged. Talk about "toxic" assets!
Walter O'Malley must be rolling over in his grave.

Ummm, fellas...Jamie was born with plenty of money. Her dad owned a chain of big screen TV stores in Baltimore. Besides, we need to root for Jamie to win the case so that they are forced to sell the team. Frank is the snake I'm more worried about...

funny thing about wealth, you can't take it with you. so these people are squabbling for something neither one will have in about 30 years when they are dead and buried.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: