LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has more than $70 million at his disposal and he's using some of his money to fund an "ongoing jihad" with Major League Baseball, his ex-wife's attorneys said in court documents filed in a costly divorce case.
Former team CEO Jamie McCourt filed a motion late Thursday in opposition of a request by Frank McCourt to reduce more than $600,000 a month in spousal support that she receives from him. Attorney Dennis Wasser argued Jamie McCourt shouldn't have to give up any money so that her ex-husband can "fund his futile and wasteful personal vendetta against both MLB and Jamie."
"Jamie should not be forced to give up the support to which she is entitled just so Frank can carry out his 'rule or ruin' strategy," Wasser wrote.
Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon last May ordered Frank McCourt to pay $225,000 a month in spousal support and more than $400,000 a month to cover the mortgages of six homes and a condominium.
Frank McCourt has argued the payments should be more in line with the $5 million he receives annually and his ex-wife should sell some of the houses to support herself.
A hearing is set for Aug. 10.
The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in June, blaming a cash-flow crisis on MLB's refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal that Frank McCourt was counting on to keep the franchise afloat.
MLB assumed control of the club's day-to-day operations in mid-April.
Gordon ruled in December that a postnuptial marital agreement that gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers was invalid. That cleared the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team under California's community property law.
The McCourts had reached a settlement that was contingent on MLB's approval of the TV deal with Fox worth up to $3 billion. However, baseball commissioner Bud Selig rejected the deal, saying it wasn't in the best interests of baseball and the money would be used for McCourt's "personal needs."
A one-day "characterization" trial slated for next week has been canceled because the settlement is now null and void. The trial was to determine if title to the Dodgers is in Frank McCourt's name or if the team should be considered community property and sold.
Jamie McCourt believes the Dodgers to be worth at least $900 million, a figure she said could be much higher if not for the $600 million of debt carried by her former husband, according to court documents.
She's also critical of the money spent by Frank McCourt on litigation. Wasser notes Frank McCourt recently hired a New York law firm that has billed him $2.4 million in legal fees.
The bill "is just one of many exorbitant expenses necessary to fund Frank's ongoing jihad with MLB," Wasser said.
Jamie McCourt said she has paid nearly $10 million in attorneys' fees and her average monthly expenses total more than $720,000.
Frank McCourt said in court documents that he's spent about $600,000 over the past year on his own expenses and lodging, compared to $7.7 million he's paid Jamie McCourt in spousal support.