West Hollywood officials blast Jamie McCourt's lawyer's "thoughtless analogy"
Two West Hollywood City Council members have rebuked Dennis Wasser, the attorney for Jamie McCourt, for his suggestion in a court hearing yesterday that Frank McCourt had contracted "RAIDS -- recently acquired income deficiency syndrome."
Upon learning of the complaints, Wasser (pictured at left) issued a statement Wednesday in which he expressed his regrets. "I apologize if ... [the remarks] were insensitive and offended anyone."
Council member Lindsey Horvath first voiced concern upon seeing news reports about Wasser's comments.
"I cannot believe that anyone would create a nexus between a life-threatening disease that has taken the lives of so many innocent victims, and a financial circumstance during a public divorce proceeding," Horvath said. "I condemn this thoughtless analogy and would hope that Mrs. McCourt's representatives would show more compassion toward those who suffer the horrific effects of HIV/AIDS."
Added council member Jeffrey Prang: "In what is already a personally difficult and messy divorce, Mrs. McCourt's attorney isn't doing his client any favors with his flippant comments. HIV/AIDS is a deadly serious disease that has claimed countless lives, and I would hope that Mr. Wasser, in the future, would exercise greater sensitivity when attempting to be clever."
Ownership of the Dodgers is the headline issue in the McCourt divorce, but the spousal support matter prompted Wasser's comment. It was said during his explanation of why he did not believe Frank McCourt's assertion that he is low on cash.
"It's an illness many people seem to have in dissolution cases," Wasser said.
Wasser clarified his comments Wednesday.
"My remarks were intended to underscore Frank McCourt's sudden and disingenuous claim of poverty, not to make light of one of the most serious diseases of our time," Wasser said. "I apologize if they were insensitive and offended anyone."
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times