Jamie McCourt's divorce
papers show details of not
only the McCourts lifestyle
but the inner workings of the
Dodgers, as seen through the
eyes of Jamie
(select image to read doc)
"I have no inclination that anything will change from how the Los Angeles Dodgers do business." –
Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti being asked about the turmoil involving Frank and Jamie McCourt’s separation
UPDATE 1 - FRANK MCCOURT FILES PAPERS CLAIMING JAMIE MCCOURT HAD AFFAIR - Firing back after Jamie McCourt filed her divorce papers yesterday, Frank McCourt filed his papers in court today, declaring that having Jamie McCourt back in the Dodgers office would be detrimental to the organization. According to TMZ, the document states, "Given the dysfunction which was caused by the Petitioner's prior employment, her inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee and the clear acrimonious relationship between her and Mr. Court (sic), if she were reinstated by order of this Court it would no doubt lead to this Court being called upon to oversee the day to day management of the Dodgers." What other bombshell came with the filing? According to The AP, Jamie McCourt had an affair. That she scheduled a trip with her bodyguard, Jeff Fuller, in early July to Israel on team business, but then heading to France for 2 1/2 weeks and billing the Dodgers for the trip.
If the words of Ned Colletti don’t ring hollow after reading through Jamie McCourt’s divorce papers, then nothing out of the Dodgers organization, will. The document, that we pulled last night from celebrity website TMZ, outlines just how dirty – and potentially damaging financially – the divorce of Dodgers owner(s) Frank and Jamie McCourt is shaping up to be.
Maybe the biggest aspect of the split on the Dodgers centers on the need to reference the ownership of the Dodgers in plural. Depending on which side you ask in this messy situation, the Dodgers are either owned entirely by Frank McCourt, or are co-owned by both he and Jamie. That aspect is going to hinge on a document signed by Jamie entitled “Marital Property Agreement” (see page 37 of the divorce papers entitled “Frank Begins to Rewrite History Concerning Our Ownership of the Dodgers and to Drive Me Out of the Organization”).
As Jamie declares, “According to Frank, that agreement purports to transfer ownership of all Dodgers Assets as well as all McCourt Company assets to Frank as a separate property. It was never my understanding that the purported effect of the document Frank asked me to sign in 2004 was to transfer the bulk of our assets to Frank.” She then adds, with underlining for emphasis, that it “was not his – or our – intention in 2004 when we signed that document that the Dodger Assets or the McCourt Company assets be his separate property.”
Whether the Dodgers become the sole ownership of Frank or co-owned by Jamie is going to hinge on how the court sees the” intent” vs. “hard facts” of signing the Marital Property Agreement.
But beyond the ownership of the Dodgers, the fact is, this divorce is going to be nasty, and maybe that’s putting it mildly.
The document reveals some information that is, even in Tinseltown terms, eye-popping. To say that it will be “business as usual” at the Los Angeles Dodgers is to say 8.5 earthquake is a nothing more than a speed bump. Here’s some details:
Select Read More to see details of the Jamie McCourt divorce papers
- Jamie claims that the two agreed that she would file for divorce after the Dodgers ended their run in the postseason as to not distract from the baseball matters at hand. Jamie claims in the document that “I believe that someone on someone on Frank’s side leaked to the press that we had separated; Frank’s attorney’s then immediately announced to the press that Frank was the ‘sole owner’ of the Dodgers, in violation of the agreement to refrain from making unilateral statements.”
- Jamie describes an environment in which she, and as she claims, others that sided with her, were systematically driven out of the organization. She cites the firing of Dr. Charles Steinberg, the former chief of marketing for the Dodgers, as well as saying that Evelyn Ehlers, the Director, Office of the Chief Executive Officer, of which Jamie was CEO at the time, would be fired if she “befriended Jamie.”
- Jamie paints current Dodger President and COO Dennis Mannion as a henchman of Frank’s. She cites a Feb. 2009 retreat meeting in which the newly appointed Mannion would report directly to Jamie in her role as CEO. As Jamie declares, “However, this reporting structure did not last long. For example, within a few months of being appointed President of the Dodgers, Mr. Mannion informed me that pursuant to Frank’s directive, there would no longer be morning phone conferences with me and my team on both baseball and business operations. Likewise, I was subsequently informed that, at Frank’s direction, the weekly ‘cabinet meetings’ would no longer take place.” She then adds, “I was systematically excluded from business or management decisions,” and that “Frank and Mr. Mannion informed Dodgers employees that they were not to interact with me, or include me in any Dodgers business.”
Beyond the working details and power play for ownership control of the Dodgers, the financial implications and details revealed within the filing show just how opulent the McCourts live, what the Dodgers are purported to be worth, and how much in salary both Jamie and Frank make, the latter of which, are rare glimpses into an MLB club’s finances.
Beginning with spousal support, Jamie is seeking:
- If she is reinstated as CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Dodgers, spousal support net of tax amount would be $320,967 a month retroactive to the date of the filing, payable in one-half on the first of the month, with the second half paid on the 15 of each month until either party’s death, Jamie McCourt were remarried, or further order of the court.
- If she is not reinstated as CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Dodgers, spousal support net of tax amount would be $487,634 a month with the same payment and term provisions should she be reinstated with her position with the Dodgers.
- To add insult to injury, should she not be reinstated in co-ownership/employment and is denied the benefits of owning the Dodgers, Frank would be made to pick up the tax amount equal in amount to the monetized value of the benefits. That value has not yet been calculated.
- She cites her monthly living expenses at nearly $500,000 ($488,928).
Benefits she is looking for include:
- Travel by private jet
- 5 star hotel accommodations
- Unlimited travel expenses
- Business dinners, 5 nights per week
- Business lunches, 5 days per week
- Personal parking spots at Dodger Stadium
- Flowers in the office
- Making Dodger Legends available for events without charge
- Dodger autographed items as requested for use in business and charitable activities
- Hair and makeup for Dodger events
- Access to team doctors for McCourt family members
- Access to the owner's suite for Dodger home games and non-baseball events at the stadium
- Tickets to All-Star games and playoff games -- even if the Dodgers aren't playing
- Passes to all National League games
Then there is the cost of engaging in a celebrity divorce:
- Jamie is seeking $2.72 million in attorneys and expert fees to four different firms including $2 million for attorneys, $500,000 toward forensic accountants, $100,000 for real estate appraisal, and $120,000 for business appraisal expenses.
As to the inner workings of the Dodgers:
- An interesting tidbit: the court filing lists the value of the Dodgers at “an estimated $800 million”. By comparison, Forbes most recent valuation lists the Dodgers value at $722 million.
- Jamie’s salary was $2 million a year.
- She states that Frank received between $5-6 million annually in salary.
How Will it Play Out?
It seems painfully obvious (to Frank’s wallet, as well) that the divorce of the McCourts will impact the ownership of the Dodgers. It will determine whether a forced co-ownership will occur; it will determine whether Jamie is reinstated as an executive of the Dodgers; it will determine how financially painful it will be to Frank in terms of meeting Jamie’s extravagant lifestyle (and we didn’t get into how the McCourt properties could be sliced up).
It’s been mentioned before, but the sale of the San Diego Padres due to the divorce of John and Becky Moores pales by comparison to how the divorce of the McCourts will play out with the Dodgers. For Ned Coletti to say that it’s going to be “business as usual” is nothing more than PR speak. No matter how hard the organization might try to go about the business at hand of running one of MLB’s premier franchises, the dark specter of the McCourts divorce will be hanging over the club like dark cloud. They say it never rains in California, but they need to remove zip code 90090 from that fallacy.
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