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Frank and Jamie McCourt reach a settlement over Dodgers ownership

Oct 17, 2011, 6:02 AM EDT

Combination of file photos of Frank and Jamie McCourt during their divorce trial in Los Angeles

Frank McCourt’s multi-front war to maintain control over the Los Angeles Dodgers just got a bit simpler: according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a settlement regarding ownership of the Dodgers. The deal has Frank paying Jamie $130 million in exchange for her giving up a claim to ownership of the team.

Where Frank gets $130 million is an open question, but one has to think that Jamie was worried about the future. A future in which, due to how encumbered the Dodgers are, her half-ownership stake in the team could be worth very little, thus rendering $130 million a more palatable option. That is, if her half-ownership stake in the team was upheld to begin with. One hundred and thirty million birds in the hand are worth more than more in the bush, as they say.

As for Frank, this makes life a bit easier. While, yes, he still has to face Bud Selig and Major League Baseball in the final boss battle in bankruptcy court, if McCourt wins that and is able to maintain control of the team, he doesn’t have to then face Jaime in the superboss battle afterward.

For everyone else this puts to an end the sordidness and drama that has driven the entire McCourt/Dodgers/litigation fiasco for the past two years.  Yes, the bankruptcy and  Major League Baseball’s efforts to wrest control of the Dodgers from McCourt pose a more serious threat than anything else now, but it was the divorce and the attendant publicity that set all of this off, injected tabloid-style nastiness into the equation, turned Frank McCourt’s name into mud and so thoroughly turned off so many Dodgers fans.

And now it’s all over. At least, that is, if this settlement gets put to bed neatly. Which, given that the McCourts are involved, is no sure bet.

  1. bbk1000 - Oct 17, 2011 at 7:22 AM

    ” more in the bush”, haha, isn’t that the reason they are getting divorced in the first place?

    • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      I think maybe he was shocked at how rapidly she began to dry out and wrinkle up. A guy with his kind of leverage doesn’t need to settle for a crone. With a face like that, she could take his money and run for governor of Arizona.

    • pjmarn6 - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:49 PM

      Are they going to make a reality tv series out of this?

      • Old Gator - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:28 PM

        Why would they make a reality series out of two people who are so detached from reality?

  2. Jonny 5 - Oct 17, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    Well doesn’t this open the door for Frank to retrieve funds from the original law firm (Bingham) that screwed up the agreement that Jamie originally agreed to, therefore costing him 130 million to buy her out of the 50% ownership deal? I can’t stand these people either but I see this as malpractice that resulted directly in this settlement.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 17, 2011 at 8:38 AM

      The former law firm will fight liability for that, but yes, this does put a top limit on their damages.

      • aaronmoreno - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

        Lot cheaper than I thought their exposure would have been when it first happened.

  3. uyf1950 - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Question, didn’t Frank also go to count to have his support payments reduced? Anything come of that?

    How will Jamie be able to survive on a mere $150M settlement? That’s my attempt at sarcasm. But I am curious about my 1st 2 questions.

    • uyf1950 - Oct 17, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      …sorry… $130M my mistake.

    • PastyRasta - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Yes they did and her spousal support was kept at $225 K per month. How can one survive on a mere $225 K per month? Also there is a trial set for November where his arguments about reducing her support will be heard, and her spousal support staying at $225K is contingent on her selling ALL of the 7 homes they own but which are listed under her name.

      Good article on the subject at

      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/09/14/frank-mccourt-will-ask-judge-to-reduce-his-spousal-support-payments/

      • uyf1950 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Thank you.

  4. 1historian - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    One has to wonder how this news is going down with the Occupy Wall Street people.

  5. florida727 - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    I’m no expert on matters such as these, but now that Frank has complete ownership, why wouldn’t he now be free to pursue that TV rights deal that was said to have been the one thing that could bail him and/or the Dodgers out of financial trouble? Subsequently, doesn’t that stick a fork in Selig’s attempt to have MLB take over the team? It looks to me as though Frank gets what he wants, yet only has to pay Jaime IF he actually secures the $130 million. If he doesn’t get the $130M, he loses the team anyway, AND he owes Jamie nothing. Don’t know if “win/win” is the right term, but I think Frank comes out of this not too badly.

    • bbk1000 - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Actually MLB refused to ok that deal woth FOX, not in the best interest of baseball.

    • jwbiii - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Fox also has exclusive negotiating rights through the end of the 2012 season, so he can’t run an auction and hope Comcast (or somebody else) makes him a better deal.

    • PastyRasta - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:00 PM

      MLB has to approve any TV rights deal and he cannot pursue a TV deal until he has gotten the team out of bankruptcy. Frank is so screwed, which is exactly why Jamie took the $130 million settlement and got out. Even if he sells the team for around the $1.2 Billion that he was supposedly offered, he has approx $700 million in debt he has accrued since taking over in 2004, he owes Jamie $130 million so there’s $830 million right there that he has to pay before he even begins to see a profit from selling the team. And before you go feeling sorry for him read the comments Jamie made about what she felt she and Frank were entitled to as owners of an MLB franchise and how they chose to spend Dodgers team revenue and it’s easy to see how he has dug this huge hole he’s currently in. Thanks to Bill Shaikin at the LA Times for these direct quotes from Jamie:

      “Frank and I enjoyed the many perquisites and benefits that come with owning a Major League Baseball team,” she wrote in a court declaration.

      She wrote of combined salaries of $7 million per year, plus $46 million to buy side-by-side oceanfront estates in Malibu, $27 million to buy side-by-side homes near the Playboy Mansion, additional properties in Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Mexico, $400 dinners and $1,000 per-night hotels, private jet travel around the world, even house calls from hairdressers and makeup artists.

      All funded by Dodgers fans. They are simply pigs and I hope he walks away from MLB without a dime. He deserves everything he has coming to him, and trust me it is not going to go well for him.

  6. kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    When paying your ex-wife $130 million makes your life a bit easier, I think it’s safe to say things have gone a bit ‘awry’ from the norm.

  7. kiwicricket - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Two great pic’s for the scrapbook Mr. C

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