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Published: Tuesday, 10/18/2011

McCourt divorce settlement to give him control of Dodgers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES — Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a settlement in a costly and nasty feud over control of the Los Angeles Dodgers, paving the way for a showdown in bankruptcy court between the embattled team owner and Major League Baseball.

The deal was struck between the former couple, but the terms will not be released, according to a joint statement Monday. A person familiar with the settlement who requested anonymity because it’s not meant to be public told the Associated Press that Jamie McCourt would receive about $130 million, a figure first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

As part of the agreement, Jamie McCourt will withdraw her opposition to the proposed sale of the Dodgers’ media rights, a move her ex-husband says would alleviate his financial woes. Instead, she will file a motion supporting the process, according to the statement.

“We’re looking forward to having her support of the Dodgers plan as the bankruptcy case goes forward,” said Victoria Cook, one of Frank McCourt’s attorneys.

A Los Angeles judge still has to sign off on the agreement, but once he does the settlement effectively ends the divorce saga that began two years ago after Frank McCourt fired Jamie McCourt as the Dodgers’ CEO.

In a separate statement, a spokesman for Jamie McCourt said she was willing to accept a settlement, even if it meant giving up her interest in the Dodgers, “if a fair resolution were possible.”

The agreement removes Jamie McCourt, who had asked the divorce court to order the Dodgers sold, as an obstacle in Frank McCourt’s bid to keep ownership by selling team television rights.

The settlement now allows Frank McCourt to focus on his battle with Major League Baseball, which is seeking permission from a bankruptcy judge to file a reorganization plan that calls for McCourt to sell the Dodgers.

The couple, who were married in 1979, has four grown sons.



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