Settlement gives Frank McCourt sole ownership
Agreement clears path for judge to decide future of Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement that gives Frank McCourt full ownership of the Dodgers, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times on Monday.
Jamie McCourt would receive $130 million and relinquish any claim to an ownership share of the club, according to the Times, which cited unidentified sources familiar with the agreement.
Neither the Dodgers nor the McCourts have confirmed or commented on the report.
A bankruptcy court in Delaware will now decide if Frank McCourt can retain the club by auctioning future television rights (over the objection of current rights holder Fox), or side with Major League Baseball's request to put the club up for sale because of Frank McCourt's alleged financial mismanagement.
The reported settlement between the McCourts would end the community property dispute over whether the Dodgers were owned solely by Frank McCourt or co-owned by the couple, who divorced earlier this year with a settlement contingent on MLB's approval of a new TV deal with Fox for a reported $3 billion.
MLB did not approve the TV deal, raising concerns that some of the $385 million upfront payment would be diverted for Frank McCourt's personal purposes, including funding a settlement with his ex-wife.
Frank McCourt then placed the Dodgers in bankruptcy and now proposes another sale of media rights as the club's best path out of bankruptcy. MLB, Fox and Jamie McCourt have opposed that plan, and a weeklong court hearing is scheduled to begin Oct. 31 to decide the issue in time for the Dodgers to participate in the free-agent market.
The dispute between the McCourts evolved from a marital agreement that Frank McCourt claimed gave him sole ownership of the club and gave Jamie McCourt ownership of the couple's nine homes. But three conflicting versions of the marital agreement surfaced and a judge ruled that none were valid, putting legal ownership of the club in limbo.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.