Dodgers' Owner Accuses Wife of Affair

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Wednesday filed papers opposing his wife's demand to be reinstated as the team's chief executive, citing insubordination and an affair she allegedly had with her bodyguard.

The documents were submitted one day after Jamie McCourt filed divorce papers seeking to regain her $2 million-a-year job.

In a filing submitted by the Dodgers that opposes her return to the team, Dodgers attorneys allege that Jamie McCourt took a trip with her bodyguard, Jeff Fuller, in early July to Israel on team business, but then headed to France for 2 1/2 weeks and billed the Dodgers for the trip. Jamie McCourt is also accused of not giving her husband any information about her assignments as chief executive and not providing the team with her schedule of public appearances.

In a declaration filed by Frank McCourt, he references Fuller as well, saying before his wife went on the trip she asked him for three things -- one of which was to have Fuller be her driver.

He added in a separate filing that the "personal and intimate relationship" with Fuller was confirmed by one of her representatives. Fuller and Jamie McCourt were fired earlier this month.

Jamie McCourt's attorney, Dennis Wasser, declined to comment.

Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon postponed the divorce hearing until Nov. 5, saying he needed to review all the documents. Neither Jamie nor Frank McCourt were in court on Wednesday.

In a declaration filed Tuesday, Jamie McCourt claims her husband plotted to boot her from the team's front office as a way to "humiliate and ostracize" her. She said she was excluded from management decisions and had lodged a workplace harassment complaint with team attorneys.

"Frank has no right to purport to terminate me. We are co-owners of the Dodgers," she said. "Not only has Frank publicly held us out as co-owners of the franchise, he has also admitted this fact in front of our estate planning counsel."

Frank McCourt fired his wife last week after the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Philadelphia Phillies.

He said the couple entered into a marital agreement in March 2004 that gave him ownership of the Dodgers. That decision was made by Jamie McCourt to insulate herself from any debts or creditor's claims that might result from purchasing the Dodgers, documents filed by Frank McCourt's attorneys state.

The team was losing more than $75 million a year when Frank McCourt purchased the team, and Jamie McCourt, who is an attorney, wanted to protect her real estate and other investments, the filing states.

Frank McCourt wrote that he allowed his wife to identify herself as "co-owner" for the "interests of family harmony" but her claim has damaged the Dodgers organization.

"Reports of these statements have been detrimental to the Dodgers, my other business ventures, and me personally," Frank McCourt wrote. Her claim has "thrown an unjustified cloud over the ownership of the Dodgers."

Jamie McCourt's filing states she is seeking reinstatement as well as access to perks including travel by private jet, stays at five-star resorts and use of the Dodgers owners' suite. She wants $321,000 a month in spousal support if reinstated to her former position. If not, she believes she should be paid nearly $488,000 per month.

The dispute comes as the Dodgers enter a busy offseason and could be a distraction when spring training arrives in February.

The team has the most potential players eligible for free agency with 16, including Manny Ramirez, who must decide if he will exercise his $20 million option for next season and return. Manager Joe Torre is headed into the final season of his three-year contract and Ned Colletti was recently given a long-term contract extension as general manager.


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