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Frank McCourt denies estranged wife's allegation over disputed agreement

He says discrepancy in versions of document touching on the Dodgers reflects a drafting error. He and Jamie McCourt are wrangling over ownership of the team.

August 25, 2010|By Bill Shaikin

Frank McCourt dismissed Jamie McCourt's allegation that he tampered with documents to deprive her of a share of the Dodgers as "offensive, flatly wrong and not supported by a shred of evidence" in court papers filed Tuesday.

Exhibit A, in the version of the agreement signed by her in Massachusetts on March 31, 2004, and signed by Frank in California on April 14, 2004, provides Frank with "all securities … currently listed solely in Frank's name exclusive of the following," and specifically lists "within this exclusion ... all assets of the Los Angeles Dodgers ... and 276 acres of land located in Chavez Ravine."

The Exhibit A upon which Frank relies, signed by both parties in Massachusetts on March 31, 2004, uses the word "inclusive" rather than "exclusive" and "including without limitation" rather than "within this exclusion."

Jamie McCourt has asked the court to throw out the agreement on the basis of the discrepancy, which likely would result in the Dodgers' being considered community property. She has said she would never have knowingly signed an agreement waiving her right to team ownership.

Frank McCourt argues the discrepancy reflects a drafting error that was later corrected to reflect the interest of both sides in protecting the couple's homes from creditors should the business assets falter.

He plans to call as witnesses Corey Busch and Robert Leib, members of the transition team that worked with the McCourts before the Dodgers' purchase was finalized in 2004. Busch and Leib each are expected to testify that Jamie insisted the Dodgers be put in Frank's name to insulate her from exposure if the McCourts could not reverse the team's financial losses.

The trial to determine who owns the Dodgers is set to start Monday.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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