McCourts battle over Dodgers ownership

Tim Brown
Yahoo! Sports

LOS ANGELES – CEO Jamie McCourt owns half of the Los Angeles Dodgers, her attorney said Thursday, a claim that conflicts with owner and husband Frank McCourt's attorney's public statement and reveals the level of rancor that lies in a divorce settlement that will determine the direction of the iconic franchise.

Meantime, Frank McCourt is telling confidantes he has paperwork signed by Jamie that demonstrate he is the sole owner of the Dodgers and their holdings, according to sources. Frank McCourt's lawyer, Marshall Grossman, told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that his client is the sole owner and that the team would not be sold. Furthermore, a high-level source with Major League Baseball confirmed that Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the team on the league's legal documents. "If that is disputed, I'm confident that there will be no mistaking Mr. McCourt's ownership for what it is – 100 percent," Grossman said. "I can confirm there is an agreement between the parties and that anyone reading it will have no doubt as to who the owner is. And that is Frank McCourt."

However, Jamie McCourt, according to sources, will not relinquish what she believes to be her share of the team and could put together a group that would attempt to buy Frank's half. Dennis Wasser, an attorney representing Jamie, declined to say whether she had signed documents giving ownership to her husband.

In a strange scene, Grossman, a guest of Frank McCourt, sat directly behind Wasser, a guest of Jamie, during Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night. Jamie sat two rows in front of her husband, who sat alongside Tommy Lasorda and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The McCourts confirmed in a joint statement Wednesday night that they had separated and Grossman made his assertion that Frank is the sole owner shortly afterward.

“We are disappointed that Mr. McCourt's attorney has chosen to express legal positions in the press in violation of the parties' specific agreement agreement not to make an public statements about this private matter,” Wasser said. “Jamie McCourt has desired to just focus on the Dodgers' success in postseason play. However, Jamie and her attorneys now feel she must briefly respond.

"Mr. McCourt's attorney, Marshall Grossman, has asserted that Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Dodgers. We disagree with his conclusion. We are confident that if the ownership issue must be adjudicated, the Dodgers will be determined to be community property, owned 50 percent by each of the McCourts.”

Wasser added that Jamie McCourt continues in her role as CEO.

Asked if his client had consulted with an outside agency that would determine the value of the franchise for the purpose of dividing it, Wasser declined comment.

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