LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Frank and Jamie McCourt’s dissolution was the costliest breakup in California history.
As the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time, both were involved in a very public and nasty feud over their marriage and the team.
When it was all over, they were finished, and the Dodgers were sold.
For Jamie McCourt, once known as the highest ranking woman in baseball, she found herself in the position of millions of women, dealing with a devastating divorce and the reality of just how little she really knew about the money in their marriage.
For her, living life has meant learning from the financial missteps she made in her marriage.
“Well talking about learning hard lessons is easy. Living hard lessons and living through hard lessons is painful,” she said. “And I had a crazy experience, right? I had a very public experience, which is yesterday’s news.”
Yesterday’s news was a 2011 divorce settlement in which she was awarded $131 million and relinquished her rights to the Dodgers.
Although it sounds like a lot, her ex-husband sold the team she says she helped grow for $2 billion. She tried to appeal the original settlement to no avail.
“You’re in the prime of your life, and then to find you go through something like I went through, meaning a dissolved marriage, which was sad, that you really didn’t have a handle on any of it at all,” she said. “And so I felt like, if this could happen to me, who else could it happen to?”
“Look,” she added, “I made my share of mistakes. All I can tell you is why I made them, how I made them and to give you my advice as to how you shouldn’t make them.”
It’s those mistakes from a business woman who has rubbed shoulders with leaders from around the world, which has led her to a new mission: to empower and educate young women when it comes to money.
McCourt, who is no stranger when it comes to advocating for women’s programs, now speaks to young women across the country at colleges and universities.
“I call my speech ‘Money,’ ” she said. “Why you need it, why you should want it and how to get it.”
McCourt points out that people who control the money, control the conversation.
“If you want to control the agenda, if you want to give money to women’s organizations, you have to get the money. And you either have to have it yourself or you have to raise it. You don’t have to have tons of money but you have to figure out how to get people behind it,” she said.
Since the divorce, McCourt has forged ahead, raising her four boys she calls her biggest accomplishment.
McCourt stays busy with philanthropy and invests in real estate, biotech, and technology start-ups.
For her, she sees a common thread in all of them:
“I love to see things grow, right? And my joke in the house is it doesn’t matter to me … I”ll grow the four boys, the garden, the vineyard, the Dodgers, start-ups,” she said. “It’s what I love! I just love it. It’s fun.”
McCourt hopes to implement programs into classrooms geared toward educating young children about money. She’s hoping if they can start young, they can avoid mistakes.