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T.J. SIMERS

Jamie McCourt denies affair, says accusations are 'devastating'

"It would not have been my choice to ever have anything put out there," she says in her first public comments since the breakup of her marriage from Dodgers' Frank McCourt.

November 11, 2009|T.J. SIMERS

Sat down with the Screaming Meanie on Tuesday morning, and how about that, even cutting into Jamie McCourt's negotiated swimming time.

Until now she hasn't said anything publicly since being fired by her husband as Dodgers CEO, being labeled an adulterer in the process and pounded in court filings.

"I've been creamed," is the way she put it. "But I've decided I'm going to take the high road."

California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, and since she was described as an "at will" hire by Frank McCourt in a letter terminating her services as the team's CEO, there was no apparent need in either case to detail any alleged wrongdoings.

But the mudslinging list is a long one, and at times, Jamie says, while still a little mystified, it's bordered on "piling on."

The McCourts, who would have celebrated 30 years of marriage on Nov. 3, have four sons ranging in age from 19 to 28. And Jamie says they are the ones who have been really hit hard.

"Boys tend to want to defend their mother, but they're caught between a rock and hard place," she says. "They don't want to see anything said about either parent. It's an unpleasant situation and it would not have been my choice to ever have anything put out there."

Some of her advisors, who suggest there are things that maybe Frank would not want revealed, have been pushing her to fight back.

"To read everything that's been said is devastating, and my kids are pretty upset about it," she says. "I want my kids to look back and say she took the high road. It's hard, but that's what I'm going to try and do."

At the risk of it appearing here as if Jamie speaks the gospel, Frank was offered a chance to respond and specifically to address the toll, as Jamie claims, this is taking on their children.

Frank's response came in a text message from a Dodgers spokesman: "He will respectfully decline comment."

In the last few weeks, whether it's TMZ picturing her with her new love interest, court filings or being ridiculed for saying she was the face of the Dodgers, she's taken the brunt of fallout from news of their pending divorce.

She's also a lawyer, described as smart but looking very foolish in admitting she had no idea what she was signing when she gave away her rights to Dodgers ownership.

A subsequent court filing by the estate planner working with the McCourts suggests Frank McCourt may also have had no idea what he was signing, but so far the agreement favors him.

"I met Frank when I was 17, dated him for eight years and was married to him almost 30 years," she says in explaining why she would sign such a document without apparent question. "I trusted the man."

Jamie now has no standing with the Dodgers, a court commissioner siding with Frank, who reportedly has gone on a purge, dismissing as many as 15 or 16 employees considered loyal to Jamie.

"I take it very personally," she says, while holding up a thumb to indicate it's a higher number than 16 employees.

Do you believe Frank is striking out at you?

"So I've been told," she says.

Do you believe it? "I do," she says. "It bothers me that people not working for tons of money in most cases were let go when all they cared about was helping the Dodgers to get a [World Series] ring. It really upsets me."

One of those dismissed was Jeff Fuller, working security for the team, and given the title, Jamie says, of director of protocol by Dodgers Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion.

Jamie has been accused of having an affair with Fuller.

"Absolutely not," she says. "I have never been with another man until the marriage broke up. Ever. Ever.

"I've been in this business 30 years, either practicing law or doing something else in a man's world. If I had known that somebody would say to me, 'Go do what you want because they're going to make something up at the end anyway,' I would have had a lot of fun for 30 years. I never even had a date until I was separated -- besides my husband."

Jamie was not only accused of cheating, but going to Israel and France with Fuller and billing the Dodgers. The trip took place after the McCourts separated.

"I went to the Maccabiah Games, which the Dodgers sponsored and which I paid for on my credit card," she says.

"It was a trip planned for months and months. The ultimate irony is that we should have gotten reimbursed for business expenses. [Fuller] and someone else were employed as Dodgers security on the trip."

Court filings use July 6 as the date when Frank and Jamie McCourt split, but she says, "I think the marriage was broken before then."

Did the relationship with Fuller begin before July 6?

"I'm not ever going to talk about my private life, that's craziness," she says. "This is all a sideshow."

In their own way since they arrived, the McCourts have been a sideshow, but in the long run the only thing that will matter to Dodgers fans is who is making the decisions to field a competitive team.

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