The divorce of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt from his wife Jamie is about to get even uglier than what many assumed would already be a contentious dissolution of marriage proceeding after McCourt sent a nasty termination letter to his wife.
TMZ obtained the termination letter mailed to Jamie from the Dodgers, and it ain't pretty. It alleges, among other things, that Miss McCourt was an insubordinate employee who regularly behaved inappropriately.Here's the gist:
"Dear Jamie — This is to inform you that your employment with and positions as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairperson of Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, as well as any and all of the positions that you hold ... are hereby terminated effective immediately.
"Because your employment is held at-will, the Organization is not required to have cause to terminate your employment and may do so for any reason or no reason at all.
However, your actions, including, but not limited to, your insubordination, non-responsiveness, failure to follow procedures, and inappropriate behavior with regard to a direct subordinate, have made this decision necessary."
You can read the entire letter here (warning: .pdf file alert). Mr. McCourt also reportedly locked Jamie out of her office, which wasn't very nice. I suggest she gains access to her office via the venting system and force the Dodgers to sweat her out, a la Costanza at Play Now.
But what could have been the motivation to send such a cold, impersonal letter? Thankfully, the Los Angeles Times somehow amazingly managed to find someone within the legal community with with time to answer such a question.
"It could be one of two reasons," Waterstone said. "One could be emotions that have nothing to do with legal issues."
The other, he said, could be an anticipation that Jamie McCourt might argue she had an oral contract, a reasonable expectation that a husband and wife working together and presenting themselves as the top executives of the club would not have a written contract between them.
"He's moving the first chess piece to respond to that," Waterstone said.
Frank McCourt claims he is the sole owner of the Dodgers. If Jamie McCourt can establish in court that she is a co-owner of the team and not an employee, Waterstone said, then issues surrounding when and how an employer can fire an employee might not be relevant.
You know, I was always pulling for this notable power couple. If two self-absorbed, insanely-wealthy people can't make it work, what hope do any of us regular folks have? Any way you slice it, I suspect the nastiness is only beginning. All I really want to know is: who gets custody of Manny? Help us, Judge Wapner, you're our only hope.
Dodgers Owner — Cold as Ice [TMZ]
Frank McCourt claims wife Jamie's behavior was insubordinate, inappropriate [Los Angeles Times]