Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said Tuesday his estranged wife doesn't need nearly $1 million US a month in temporary support because she has assets worth more than $75 million.
McCourt wants a judge to deny a request made last month by Jamie McCourt, the Dodgers former CEO, who wants about $989,000 per month. She argued that the sum should reflect the couple's lavish lifestyle during their marriage.
Lawyers for Frank McCourt said in court documents that his wife has at least $11 million in cash and another $65 million in real estate holdings she could tap but hasn't.
"Our papers make clear that her request for temporary support is out of touch with reality," lawyer Marc Seltzer said. "Mrs. McCourt does not need any temporary spousal support to live the lifestyle she desires. She owns seven homes — six of which she seldom, if ever, uses."
Dennis Wasser, a lawyer for Jamie McCourt, declined comment because he hadn't seen the filing.
The couple is embroiled in a costly divorce dispute with the Dodgers possibly hanging in the balance. Jamie McCourt said she is the team's co-owner, while her husband maintains a marital agreement between the two gives him sole possession of the Dodgers.
A trial to determine ownership is set for May 24. A hearing on the spousal support is scheduled for later this month.
'Need to cut expenditures'
In court documents, Frank McCourt said he doesn't draw a salary from the Dodgers and estimates he will earn about $5 million this year from one of his businesses. He notes the recession has hampered his business ventures, saying he hopes the team's revenues will increase this year and be similar to 2008 figures.
"The need to cut expenditures — both business and personal — is a reality," he said.
The Dodgers' revenue has nearly doubled under the couple's management from $156 million in 2004 to $295 million in 2008, according to court documents.
Frank McCourt also denied claims that he purchased or planned to buy a $10-million condo and spent $52,000 on clothes since November. He does, however, live in a hotel.
But lawyers for Jamie McCourt claim in a 1,423-page court filing that her husband and his advisers have doctored financial statements to reduce his net worth from $835 million to $163 million.
Court documents also showed that Frank McCourt sought to create a global sports entity that would include the acquisition of soccer teams in both China and England as well as retaining the Dodgers.
However, Frank McCourt said in court documents the project "died" because a Chinese investor no longer showed any interest.