LOS ANGELES (CN) – In the ongoing divorce trial over ownership of the Dodgers, wife Jamie McCourt pleaded ignorance in the signing of a deal splitting up property with her husband, Frank McCourt. “I don’t understand it at all,” she testified. “I don’t understand it as I sit here today.”
Frank’s lawyer, Steve Susman of Susman & Godfrey, repeatedly asked Jamie whether she understood her Bingham & McCutchen lawyer Larry Silverstein’s “English language” in the agreement.
“Can you understand that by reading the English language, that Mr. Silverstein said that this agreement will preserve your property?” Susman asked.
“I still don’t understand,” Jamie McCourt said.
Taking the stand in a camel-colored dress and cardigan, Jamie said in Massachusetts she and her husband treated everything as a 50-50 split.
But Susman pointed out that the marital property laws are different in California. While everything would be split evenly between the spouses in Massachusetts, in California the ownership goes to the one who holds title.
Jamie testified that she expected Silvestein to explain whether she was giving up the Dodgers to her husband — though she made it clear that the houses were hers and the businesses were Frank’s.
When Susman asked if she discussed with Frank how they would separate their assets, she answered that they did not talk about it.
Susman also tested her awareness of the apparent statement in the couple’s Marital Property Agreement that the Dodgers baseball team forms part of Frank’s separate property.
“Is there anything confusing about that?” Susman asked. “What questions would you have asked Larry Silverstein?”
Jamie McCourt replied that she would’ve asked Silverstein the difference between a quasi-community and community property and to clarify particular sentences in the agreement.
“If you had read this in 2004, with your education, lawyer background and MBA degree, you were sophisticated and educated enough to understand this in detail, correct?” Susman asked.
Jamie McCourt finally answered “yes,” but only after Judge Scott Gordon told her to answer Susman’s question instead of avoiding it.
Going over each word and repeatedly asking Jamie whether she understood what the words meant, Susman asked her, “Isn’t it clear that you don’t have any right [to his property] as he doesn’t to your property?”
“I’m not clear,” Jamie McCourt answered.
“The property titled in Frank’s name is Frank’s property. Is there anything you don’t understand about that?” Susman asked again.
“I really don’t understand what it means. I’m sorry I don’t,” she replied.
Showing the exhibit of newsmedia Q&A to Jaime, Susman pointed out that in one of the answers she personally checked with the Dodgers PR representative, and then stated that Frank is the owner and controller of Dodgers.
“It’s consistent that Frank is the owner and designated control person,” Jamie answered. “But in my mind … everything was treated as ours together.”
Moreover, Susman showed a memo written from Jamie to Frank saying that he is the owner of Dodgers while she served as president of the team.
To that question, Jamie, “I never considered myself to be the sole owner of anything. In terms of divorce, everything was 50/50.”