The relationship between JAMIE and FRANK MCCOURT is featured in August's VANITY FAIR under the header, “A Major-League Divorce,” with Vanessa Grigoriadis writing that L.A. “was initially welcoming” of the new Dodgers owners, “as it is of anyone with money, but when it became clear that they were using one of the city’s biggest franchises ... to pay their personal expenses, among other shenanigans, the ire in the normally placid city exploded.” The piece details the couple’s personal and financial history as well as their ownership of the team and their divorce proceedings. The McCourts “enjoyed the instant celebrity that came with owning the team, and hired a cadre of spin doctors to burnish their image.” Jamie “made plans to write a memoir, entitled 'Screaming Meanie: Babes, Baseball and Business.'” On living in L.A., she said it is a place where you’re judged by “where you’re going, not where you’ve been. ... There isn’t a thing I don’t love about L.A. I’m never moving from L.A. Ev-ver.”
ROLE OF STEINBERG: In the team’s offices, Jamie’s main ally was CHARLES STEINBERG, who was “close" to MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG. Steinberg told Jamie “she should get involved in politics,” and in a memo titled “Project Jamie: Tikun Olam Plan,” he told her that she should establish some goals, including “fix the world,” “fix America,” and “be President.” He suggested that she found a “Dodgers University” to advance those goals.
WHERE THEY ARE NOW: Grigoriadis writes that Jamie “has tried to rehabilitate her image,” and has “put on exclusive wine dinners for 12 friends several times a month.” Meanwhile, Frank has “continued to slip in everyone’s estimation.” While Jamie has received calls “from investors interested in partnering with her to buy the team” from Frank, “she knew that the fans didn’t want her as the face of the Dodgers anymore,” but she could be a silent partner. However, sources said that “time and again ... investors disappeared because Frank wouldn’t produce any financial information about the team.” Frank reportedly "refused even to tell Jamie exactly how much he thought the Dodgers were worth.” Her lawyer DAVID BOIES: “We were saying that the Dodgers were worth more than a billion dollars, and Frank once took the position that they were only worth a few hundred million dollars, and after the debt was subtracted, they might only be worth $1 or $2 million” (VANITY FAIR, 8/ '11 issue).
The Steelers named NFL Cardinals Media Relations Assistant NATHAN LOCASCIO PR/Media Manager (Steelers)....The Int'l Association of Venue Managers named VICKI HAWARDEN President & CEO, replacing DEXTER KING, who is retiring. Hawarden has more than 20 years of association management experience, most recently serving as VP/Knowledge & Events for Meeting Professional Int'l (IAVM).
In London, Raf Sanchez reports PAUL MCCARTNEY "will kick off the London 2012 Olympics." McCartney told Olympic organizers he is "up for" performing at the Opening Ceremony next July 27, but "detailed plans and choice of songs have yet to be finalised." The Rolling Stones "reportedly declined an offer to perform and Led Zeppelin are also said to be staying away after frontman ROBERT PLANT said he was not interested" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/28).
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE has been accused of paying $44M in bribes to former German bank Bayerische Landesbank Chief Risk Officer GERHARD GRIBKOWSKY, but he said that he "paid only $23 million" and "repeated his assertion that the money was not a bribe." Ecclestone "initially denied any knowledge of the payments," but he "has now admitted to paying Gribkowsky $23m after being 'shaken down' by the German." He added that Gribkowsky "threatened to make life difficult for him" with former U.K. government body the Inland Revenue "by making 'false claims 'regarding the running of the Ecclestone family trust Bambino Holdings" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/28).
HOLLYWOOD BEAT: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's McClintock & Kit reported the story of RICH FRANKLIN's "remarkable rise from math teacher to mixed martial artist and UFC champion is headed for the big screen." Double E Pictures and Motion Theory "have optioned the life rights to Franklin's story, and set DAVID HOLLANDER to pen the script" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/27)....The world premiere of "MONEYBALL" will take place at the 11-day Toronto Int'l Film Festival, which begins Sept. 8 (EW.com, 7/26).
NAMES: In New Jersey, Ellsworth Boyce profiled NASCAR Managing Dir of Business Development SEAN DOWNES under the header, "NJ Native Chooses NASCAR Over Madison Square Garden." Downes "sees opportunity" with NASCAR. He said, "NASCAR's television ratings are up, attendance is up. The sport has a big focus on green issues, and there may not be a better time for new companies and new technologies to grow their companies through the sport of NASCAR" (NJ.com, 7/26)....Former NFLer SCOTT TURNER has announced his candidacy for the Texas House of Representatives. Turner played eight seasons in the NFL, and currently serves as an adviser to the NFLPA (DALLASNEWS.com, 7/26)….Former Steelers C CHUKKY OKOBI is being sued by 24 neighbors of the Shadyside, Pa, where he “runs a bed-and-breakfast and hosts weddings, corporate retreats and other social gatherings.” Okobi’s neighbors are claiming that the outdoor events “are a nuisance to the neighborhood” (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/26)…. USTA Serves, the USTA’s philanthropic and charitable entity, awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 39 community tennis organizations and other foundations during its ’11 spring funding cycle (USTA).