Dodgers owner seeks lower spousal support payments

The Associated Press
Posted July 15, 2011, at 8:54 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Friday asked a judge to reduce the amount of spousal support he’s paying to his ex-wife in their divorce battle over ownership of the team.

McCourt has paid more than $5 million to cover the mortgages of six homes and a condominium over the last year as well as $2.7 million in temporary spousal support to Jamie McCourt, according to court documents.

McCourt said the payments should be more in line with the $5 million he receives annually and either Jamie McCourt should be ordered to pay the mortgages herself or the properties should be sold.

“I simply cannot afford to support petitioner’s lifestyle any longer,” McCourt said in a declaration.

Matt Hiltzik, a spokesman for Jamie McCourt, said Frank McCourt has “single-handedly destroyed the value of the Dodgers” since his client was fired as the team’s CEO in late 2009.

“If Frank’s personal financial situation is really so dire, why doesn’t he just sell his half of the Dodgers assets?” asked Hiltzik.

Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon last May ordered McCourt to pay $225,000 a month in spousal support and more than $400,000 a month to maintain the homes, which include a pair in tony Holmby Hills near the Playboy Mansion and another two in Malibu. Jamie McCourt had been seeking nearly $1 million a month.

A hearing has been set for Aug. 10.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware last month, blaming a cash-flow crisis on Major League Baseball’s refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal McCourt was counting on to keep the franchise afloat.

MLB assumed control of the club’s day-to-day operations in mid-April.

Gordon ruled in December that a postnuptial marital agreement that gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers was invalid. That cleared the way for Jamie McCourt, who served as the team’s CEO and was fired by her ex-husband two years ago, to seek half the team under California’s community property law.

The McCourts reached a settlement last month that was contingent on MLB’s approval of the TV deal with Fox worth up to $3 billion. However, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal, saying it wasn’t in the best interests of baseball and the money would be used for McCourt’s “personal needs.”

Court documents show McCourt has about $350,000 in his personal bank account as of Tuesday. He said he’s spent about $600,000 over the past year on his own expenses and lodging, compared to $7. 7 million he’s paid Jamie McCourt in spousal support.

The filing also shows he’s paid nearly $6 million in attorneys’ fees, but still owes $3.4 million.

McCourt also maintains he doesn’t receive a salary from the Dodgers, but gets his $5 million allocation through Blue Land Co., a division that is paid $14 million per year in rent by the team.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/15/sports/dodgers-owner-seeks-lower-spousal-support-payments/ printed on August 28, 2014