UPDATED: Frank McCourt asks judge to cut his support to Jamie McCourt
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Dodgers owner Frank McCourt asked Friday that a judge reduce the financial support he must pay his ex-wife Jamie, saying the amount of money he paid her last year is more than he will make this year.
‘I simply cannot afford to support [her] lifestyle any longer,’ McCourt wrote in a filing with the Los Angeles Superior Court.
He asked that Jamie McCourt be ordered to pay all costs associated with the couple’s seven homes -- perhaps by renting some or all -- or that the properties be sold immediately. The court set an Aug. 10 hearing date.
Frank McCourt said his income this year would be $5 million. In accordance with court orders, Frank McCourt said he paid Jamie McCourt $7.76 million over the past year, to cover temporary spousal support and to maintain the couple’s seven homes. In comparison, Frank McCourt said he spent $600,642 on ‘my own personal expenses and lodging.’
[UPDATED 3:39 p.m.: The statement from Ryan Kirkpatrick, an attorney for Frank McCourt:
‘Jamie McCourt continues to live a lifestyle that simply is not sustainable. She has seven homes which Frank pays for, and despite many requests, she has refused to sell or rent any of them. No one needs seven houses. Beyond covering her home expenses, Frank has been paying her $225,000 a month to support her unrestrained style of living. Today’s request by Frank simply reflects economic reality.’
The statement from Matthew Hiltzik, a spokesman for Jamie McCourt:
‘Frank’s hypocrisy and deceit know no bounds. It’s inexplicable that Frank has single-handedly destroyed the value of the Dodgers in the nearly two years since Jamie was last involved with the team. If Frank’s personal financial situation is really so dire, why doesn’t he just sell his half of the Dodger assets?’]
Frank McCourt said he receives ‘no salary from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ but is paid through Blue Land Co., the McCourt entity to which the Dodgers pay $14 million per year in rent. According to the filing, McCourt gets $5 million from that rent payment, with almost $4 million toward mortgage payments and about $5 million toward various McCourt entities. The last figure includes a total of $2.2 million for annual salaries to 12 employees of the McCourt Group, including vice presidents -- and sons -- Drew and Travis McCourt.
The filing also noted that Major League Baseball had capped rent payments at $14 million, despite an agreement between two McCourt entities that the rental fee would be $16.5 million last year and $17.2 million this year.
‘Furthermore, LA Real Estate LLC [the renting entity] cannot afford to pay any more in rent, particularly now that it is in bankruptcy,’ McCourt wrote.
In April, Commissioner Bud Selig ordered an investigation into the finances of the Dodgers ‘and related entities.’ The latest McCourt organizational chart lists 27 entities, including the charities Think Cure and Dodgers Dream Foundation. Five of those entities were included in the bankruptcy filing.
According to the filing, McCourt has incurred legal bills of $9.38 million over the last 12 months, not including any bankruptcy-related work. Of that total, $3.44 million remains unpaid.
-- Bill Shaikin