Los Angeles, CA- Former LA Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt and his former wife Jaimie McCourt are once again facing off in divorce court after the $2.5 billion dollar sale of the team.
In the fall of 2011, Jaimie McCourt agreed to take a $131 million cash settlement along a share of the couple’s numerous residences, in exchange for relinquishing her ownership shares of the Dodgers. When the former Mrs. McCourt took that settlement she was unaware of how much the Dodgers sale would net for her ex.
The team was facing financial ruin– which some blamed on the lavish lifestyle of the McCourts— so it was taken through a structured bankruptcy where it was sold from significantly more than Frank McCourt said the team was worth in the original divorce proceedings.
Now, Jaimie McCourt is back in court, urging a judge to correct her mistake. Last week, as Jaimie McCourt testified before a court she admitted she signed the divorce settlement against the wishes of her attorney Bert Fields, the Los Angeles Times reported.An email sent to Frank McCourt’s attorneys, Fields said he advised Mrs. McCourt to turn down the settlement because her ex had not provided enough financial information for her to make
In court Jaimie McCourt said, “Once the sale was announced, I really started questioning what was going on,” Jamie McCourt testified last week, “I was surprised I would’ve made such a huge mistake.”
Jaimie McCourt insists that her husband, under penalty of perjury lied to her and the court about the true value of the team. At the time, Frank McCourt said the team would yield only $300 million at auction.
The team was bought by group of investors which included Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners for $2.1 billion. Had Jaimie McCourt not taken the original settlement she would have been entitled to $800 after taxes and debts, the Los Angeles Times said.
Jaimie McCourt’s only evidence that her estranged husband had misled about the value of the team is an interview with investor Peter Cohen of the Blackstone group who told Forbes magazine that the team was worth at least “$2.5 billion on day one.”
“When Peter Cohen … stated for many people that he knew from day one the value was going to be this high,” Jaimie McCourt said in court, the Times reported. “I knew — or I believed — that Frank knew all along what the assets were worth and didn’t tell me.”
But the Frank McCourt and his attorneys insist that they had no way of determining how much the Dodgers would sell for. According to Jaimie McCourt’s attorneys even if Frank McCourt had “mistaken” the value of the Dodgers, their client still has sufficient enough grounds to ask the settlement be overturned.
Even if Jaimie McCourt is able to get the settlement overturned, the couple could wind up arguing over who owned the team, the same legal issue that tied up the divorce in the first place. This should be a lesson to others; listen to your divorce attorneys, if they say don’t sign a settlement, don’t sign it; they know best that is why people hire attorneys.