MLB

Ex-wife: McCourt making secret deals

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LOS ANGELES (AP)

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The ex-wife of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt accused her ex-husband Tuesday of making financial deals concerning the team behind her back in violation of a court order, according to a court filing.

Jamie McCourt filed court papers requesting a judge order Frank McCourt to turn over all documents about team finances after reading in the Los Angeles Times about a $200 million loan that Frank McCourt tried to secure from Fox Television against the team's cable TV rights.

"It is outrageous that Jamie and her counsel have to rely upon the news media for information that Frank is affirmatively obligated under California law to provide before the fact," stated the filing by attorney Michael J. Kump, who represents Jamie McCourt.

Jamie McCourt, who is seeking half ownership of the team under California community property law, maintains she has a right to know about all its financial dealings as any "non-marital business partner" would.

But Frank McCourt, who maintains the team is his property alone, said his ex-wife has agreed that he is the designated control person in charge of running the team's business operations.

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In a Feb. 16. letter to Kump, lawyer Sorrell Trope, who represents Frank McCourt, said his client will give his ex-wife the information she is entitled to, but "her rights are not nearly as broad as you characterize."

A judge in December threw out a 2004 marital property agreement that gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers, clearing the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team.

Jamie McCourt served as the Dodgers' CEO until her then-husband fired her in 2009 and she filed for divorce, ending a 30-year marriage.

The latest clash underscores the acrimony between the multi-millionaire McCourts.

The court filing stems from a Feb. 25 Times story that stated Fox had agreed to lend McCourt $200 million under the condition that, if McCourt defaulted, Fox's TV contract would be extended at below-market rates for up to four years.

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal, "a clear sign that Frank's actions were deemed to be not in the best interests of the franchise," Jamie McCourt's court filing stated.

Since Jamie McCourt has a presumptive 50 percent interest in the Dodgers and other McCourt assets, she is entitled to all information that could affect those assets, the court papers state.

In a letter included as an exhibit with the court filing, Trope wrote that Frank McCourt rejects the notion that his ex-wife has a 50 percent presumptive interest. He scheduled a March 4 meeting between the parties to discuss the terms of the information exchange.

"Frank has fully complied, and will continue to comply, with his obligations to Jamie, and he expects Jamie to fully comply with her obligations to him," said Ryan Kirkpatrick, an attorney for Frank McCourt.

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