Jamie McCourt testifies that it's 'preposterous' she would sign away Dodgers
Jamie McCourt testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday that she strongly supported the purchase of the Dodgers in 2004, calling the deal “an amazing, exciting opportunity for the entire family.”
She took the witness stand at the end of the first week of her divorce trial, which is now in recess until Sept. 20.
A settlement is unlikely before then, according to sources on both sides.
Jamie McCourt will resume her testimony Sept. 20. She is expected to be followed by Larry Silverstein, the Boston lawyer who drafted the now-disputed agreement that Frank McCourt claims gives him sole ownership of the Dodgers.
Once Jamie McCourt and Silverstein complete their testimony, the sources said, the two sides should be in a better position to assess the case and negotiate a possible settlement.
The McCourts, who moved to L.A. from Boston after buying the Dodgers, had bid unsuccessfully on the Boston Red Sox. Jamie said she supported that bid too.
“It was equally exciting, particularly for the children,” she testified. “It would still be cold [living in Boston], so I don’t think it’s as exciting as owning the Dodgers.”
Jamie contends she is a co-owner of the team. She said she had reviewed the McCourt business plan for the Dodgers and did not consider the purchase as unduly risky.
She also said the notion that she would have signed away her right to the Dodgers was “preposterous” and that Silverstein never explained that the marital property agreement in question would have required her to surrender that right.
“You can be sure I would remember that,” she said.
Dennis Wasser, an attorney for Jamie McCourt, hammered Silverstein outside court for an apparent lack of understanding of California community property law, citing in part Silverstein’s $8,000 bill for his work on the now-disputed agreement.
“You can’t find a family-law lawyer in this town that would do a document like that for $8,000,” Wasser said.
Steve Susman, an attorney for Frank, called Jamie “a team breaker” and disputed her characterization of the Dodgers purchase as a family one.
“She may have wanted to be part of it,” Susman said outside court, “but why wasn’t she willing to sign the promissory note or guarantees to give her name to MLB as a co-owner? You can’t own something and not own it.”
Susman said he did not plan to bring up evidence of Jamie’s alleged affair with a Dodgers employee, cited by Frank in court papers and in the letter he wrote to fire her as the team’s chief executive.
“I think we can win without talking about it,” Susman said. “I don’t have to throw dirt against the wall.”
-- Bill Shaikin at Los Angeles County Superior Court