Sports fans and divorce lawyers in Pasadena alike have been watching the contentious divorce of Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt rage on for nearly two years. In that time, we've seen the pair battle relentlessly over the team, which she says she's entitled to half of while he says he's the sole proprietor. After months of back and forth over which one of the spouses will end up with the struggling baseball franchise, it looks like a big time (and big dollar) settlement has finally been reached.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Jamie McCourt will walk away from the Dodgers and relinquish her rights to the team for a payout of $130 million. This agreement is expected to bring about the end of what experts believe is the most expensive divorce in California history. The settlement would dissolve Jamie's relationship with the team and would prohibit her from making any further claims. With Jamie out of the way, Frank can now pursue his publicized plan to retain ownership of the team by selling the highly-profitable television rights in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
According to theTimes, Frank and Jamie McCourt "incurred $20.6 million in legal bills related to the divorce through July" while the battle for the Dodgers alone might have added an estimated $14 million in legal fees to the previous total. Frank isn't off the hook just yet, however. Mr. McCourt now has to face-off with Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to decide the ultimate fate of the Dodgers. Selig has asked the Bankruptcy Court to force a sale of the Dodgers via court order. MLB officials cite financial mismanagement as the reason why the team should be sold publicly, while lawyers for Frank McCourt believe Selig is using the "enormous negative publicity" from the divorce to help force the sale of the team.