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Judge denies request to toss McCourt divorce deal

Updated at: 09/10/2013 2:35 PM
By GREG RISLING

(AP) LOS ANGELES - A judge denied a motion Monday by former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt to throw out a $131 million divorce settlement that she argued was invalid because she believes she was misled about the value of the team that was later sold for $2 billion.

Jamie McCourt didn’t present enough evidence to show that she should get more than what she received in the settlement reached with former husband and ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon said in his 57-page ruling.

She contended her ex-husband short-changed her $770 million by misrepresenting the Dodgers’ assets during their divorce and believes Frank McCourt knew the true value all along.

Jamie McCourt "had the information, knowledge, experience and evidence that the value of the Dodger assets was greater than what she indicates in her moving papers which she relied upon in entering into the settlement of this matter," Gordon wrote. "Further there is no credible evidence that (Frank McCourt) misrepresented the valuation to her in this case."

Attorney Bert Fields, who represented Jamie McCourt, said the ruling was not unexpected and he plans to appeal it.

"I’ve said from the beginning that this case will be decided on appeal," Fields said in a statement. "I believe that, at the end of the day, the original judgment, which was massively unfair, will be set aside."

Chuck Burgess, a spokesman for Frank McCourt, declined to comment.

Their marriage was dissolved in October 2010, and less than a year later the Dodgers went into bankruptcy. Frank McCourt’s financial future had been in doubt, but the Dodgers’ sale made him rich again.

As part of the agreement, Jamie McCourt received $131 million tax-free and several luxurious homes.

In court documents filed early in the divorce case, Jamie McCourt did estimate the value of the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots at $2 billion. But her attorney said she relied on the latest figures given to her and said the amount for a future regional sports network _ potentially worth more than $1 billion _ was never reflected in documents she saw.

Frank McCourt’s lawyers said Jamie McCourt was provided the team’s financial documents prior to the settlement being reached in October 2011 and she failed to do her due diligence.

Frank McCourt did not testify during a short trial over the motion to throw out the settlement, but one of his attorneys took the stand and said the former baseball owner has paid more than $460 million in state and federal taxes relating to the sale of the Dodgers.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)