Jamie McCourt, former Los Angeles Dodgers CEO and ex-wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, has asked a Los Angeles divorce court to throw out the couple’s settlement agreement because she believes she should have received more, and that she was deceived about the value of the Dodgers franchise, which was later sold for $2 billion.
The high asset divorce between the McCourts has been a rather contentious one, involving the splitting of the Dodgers franchise and the team’s bankruptcy proceeding. Frank McCourt was brought back from a financially precarious situation by the sale of the Dodgers franchise.
The settlement agreement already left Jamie McCourt well off-she received $131 million tax-free, as well as several luxurious homes. But she subsequently accused her ex-husband of committing fraud by misrepresenting the Dodger assets as less than $300 million during their divorce, and that he knew the true value all along. She alleges that she received around $770 million less than she should have in the settlement agreement.
Frank McCourt’s attorney argued in the case that Jamie McCourt was provided the team’s financial documents prior to the settlement, which was reached in October 2011, and that she agreed to the terms. He argued that Jamie McCourt failed to do her due diligence.
Jamie McCourt had reportedly estimated the value of the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots to be $2 billion. According to her attorney, she based that estimate on the latest figures given to her, and that the possibility of establishing a regional sports network-potentially increasing the value over $1 billion-as not mentioned in the documents.
McCourt’s attorney responded to that argument by pointing out that the prospect of setting up a future network was not related in the documents because it did not yet exist as an asset.
If the settlement ends up getting thrown out, arguments could resume over whether the Dodgers are community property under California law or whether Frank McCourt owned the team outright. The judge, interestingly, previously ruled that a post-marital agreement giving Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers was invalid.
In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at post-marital agreements and what they are and aren’t good for.
Source: Forth Worth Star Telegram, “Ex-wife wants Dodger divorce settlement tossed,” Greg Risling, April 24, 2013