LOS ANGELES – Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement that gives him control of the Los Angeles Dodgers and her about $130 million, making it one of California's costliest divorces, according to a report published Monday.
The McCourts have been embroiled in a costly and nasty battle in which the main prize has been the baseball team. What will happen to the Dodgers has been put on hold until a bankruptcy court in Delaware sorts out the mess. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday.
The divorce agreement removes Jamie McCourt as an obstacle in Frank McCourt's bid to keep ownership of the Dodgers by selling team television rights, the Los Angeles Times reported based on unidentified sources familiar with the deal.
Jamie McCourt spokesman Matthew Hiltzik declined comment in a Monday morning email to The Associated Press. Frank McCourt spokesman Steve Sugerman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Times reports the deal appears to set up a showdown for the Dodgers between Frank McCourt and baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, who wants the federal bankruptcy court to order the Dodgers sold. Judge Kevin Gross would need to grant an auction of Dodgers TV rights for Frank McCourt to have chance of keeping the team.
The McCourts previously reached a divorce settlement on June 17, but the deal was contingent on approval of a proposed television contract between the Dodgers and Fox.
But Selig rejected the TV contract, noting in part that almost half of an immediate $385 million payment from Fox would have been diverted from the Dodgers.
On June 27, Frank McCourt took the Dodgers into bankruptcy.
Jamie McCourt, who had asked the divorce court to order the team sold, subsequently lined up behind Major League Baseball and Fox in asking the bankruptcy court to reject Frank McCourt's bid to auction Dodgers television rights.
It is uncertain whether the court would allow Frank McCourt to use the television money to satisfy a divorce settlement or whether the net proceeds of a sale of the team would exceed $130 million.
Last week, attorneys for Major League Baseball withdrew a motion to disqualify attorneys representing the Dodgers in the team's bankruptcy case. League attorneys said they were withdrawing the motion at the suggestion of a court-appointed mediator.
League attorneys had argued that the Dodgers attorneys should be disqualified because they were advancing the interests of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt at the expense of the team's interests.