It isn’t that often that sports and international diplomacy intersect, but in the case of President Trump’s choice of Jamie McCourt to be U.S. ambassador to France, he seems to have blundered into a potentially awkward situation.
Between 2004 and 2012, Jamie McCourt and her husband, Frank, owned the Los Angeles Dodgers. The McCourts alienated Dodger fans by raising parking prices and not spending money on new talent, as the team failed to win a National League championship. Jamie and Frank divorced in 2011, in what was said to be the most expensive divorce in California history. (Lawyers reaped a harvest of more than $20 million.) Jamie received about $130 million in the divorce and gave up any interest in the team, which Frank sold the following year.
Formerly a heavy financial supporter of Democratic candidates, Jamie McCourt switched to the Republicans in 2013. In 2016, she donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Donald Trump’s campaign. On June 22, 2017, Trump rewarded McCourt by nominating her to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium. However, on August 3, Trump upgraded her to France and Monaco.
As U.S. ambassador to France, Jamie McCourt will be expected to schmooze regularly with French president Emmanuel Macron. Although both Macron and McCourt will be based in Paris, Macron is an ardent supporter of the longtime rival of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) soccer team, Olympique Marseille (l’OM), and he recently visited the Marseille players at their training camp.
The diplomatic awkwardness? The current owner of l’OM is none other than Jamie McCourt’s ex-husband, Frank. Will Macron invite the U.S. ambassador to join him when l’OM plays PSG on October 22 and/or February 25? It will be up to the protocol specialists of the two countries to decide.
You can read the AllGov.com profile of Jamie McCourt here.
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