Sign of controversy

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Lawyer Dennis Wasser and Jamie McCourt arrive at court.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Lawyer Dennis Wasser and Jamie McCourt arrive at court. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 31, 2010

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If yesterday’s opening arguments are any indication, the divorce trial of former Bostonians Frank and Jamie McCourt could prove to be pretty contentious. At stake is the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team Frank bought when his bid to buy the BoSox failed. Jamie is seeking part-ownership of the team despite signing a document in 2004 that gave her the couple’s considerable real-estate holdings and Frank sole ownership of the Dodgers and the ballpark they play in. Jamie has claimed she didn’t know what she was signing — a claim Frank’s attorney, Steve Susman, yesterday characterized as “incredible’’ and “unbelievable,’’ according to USA Today. (There was a whole phalanx of high-priced lawyers in the courtroom: Frank has six attorneys and Jamie has five.) At one point, while Jamie’s divorce lawyer, Dennis Wasser, was arguing that Frank and his legal eagle Larry Silverstein had altered the document signed by Jamie to deceive her, Wasser quoted, of all people, Sir Walter Scott: “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!’’ This is not a jury trial. It is being heard by Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon, a former Santa Monica, Calif., policeman and a member of the prosecution team in the O.J. Simpson murder case.

Village People still draw a crowd
After selling 100 million records worldwide, you’d think the Village People wouldn’t need — or want — to do that silly YMCA dance. You’d be wrong. The ’70s disco group made up of a cop, a cowboy, a construction worker, and a couple of other cultural stereotypes, performed over the weekend for a frenzied crowd at the Ocean Club at Marina Bay.

Toning down his act
It’s safe to say that World Wrestling Entertainment star John Cena could hold his own with any UFC strongmen, including Mauricio Rua, Randy Couture, or Chuck Liddell. But the West Newbury native isn’t into mixed martial arts. “It’s just not something that particularly interests me,’’ Cena told us yesterday. “UFC is where boxing was years ago, and I was never really into boxing, either.’’ In town for last night’s WWE “Monday Night Raw’’ at the TD Garden, Cena said he prefers professional wrestling because it’s “regulated entertainment that’s safe for anyone to enjoy.’’ And UFC? “It is what it is,’’ he said. “It can be pretty over the top, and it’s not something I’d want my children to watch.’’ Maybe that’s just the softer, gentler Cena speaking. In the new movie “Legendary,’’ costarring Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover, Cena plays a sensitive guy, not the action hero of his past pictures, “The Marine’’ and “12 Rounds.’’ “I’m used to dodging bullets and explosions,’’ he told us. “And this is more of a dramatic piece.’’ Saying he’s “fairly inexperienced when it comes to cinematic acting,’’ the brawny homeboy said he watched Clarkson and Glover carefully. “It’s not like I was tugging on their sleeve for advice,’’ he said. “I just tried to be a sponge.’’
Pianist with a porpoise

Prepping for his role as a marine biologist in the upcoming 3-D film, “Dolphin Tale,’’ singer, pianist, and Jill Goodacre’s husband, Harry Connick Jr., paid a visit the other day to the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, where he hung out with MBL senior scientist Roger Hanlon and MBL CEO Gary Borisy.

Shaq meets Tom

Pats QB Tom Brady has an admirer in Shaquille O’Neal. The newest Celtic ran into No. 12 at Saturday’s UFC event at the Garden, and tweeted about the encounter. “. . .I just saw tom brady. Dat dude is beautiful lol,’’ typed Shaq. Brady attended the festival of fisticuffs with a few teammates, including Stephen Neal, whom he thinks could be a good fighter. “UFC was great fun,’’ Brady told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan yesterday. “It was a lot of fun to be there. I mean, one guy just got the [expletive] knocked out of him. I was like, ‘Call the fight! This guy’s done.’ . . . These guys are so competitive in their own way. We were telling them, ‘Man, you guys are crazy.’ And they were telling us, ‘Man, you guys are crazy.’ When he’s not witnessing a bloodbath, Brady said he and wife Gisele Bundchen tend to be homebodies, especially during the season. “I don’t go out very often. There’s a few shows that I watch. I like ‘Entourage,’ I like ‘Dexter.’ I love ‘The Shield’ — that was probably my favorite. I love ‘The Wire,’ ’’ he said. “So I can DVR those and then when I get some time, I’ll sit down with my wife and watch those. But my life’s very different now than it used to be. The great part about the football season for me is that I’m in one place. I don’t really have to go anywhere.’’

Giving it her best shot
Before her gig at the Bank of America Pavilion Sunday, ’80s icon Pat Benatar stopped by Borders Back Bay to sign some copies of her memoir, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.’’ A far cry from groupie Pamela Des Barres’s dishy backstage tome, “I’m With the Band,’’ Benatar’s book plays it straight. “Mine is one of the only stories that doesn’t involve at least one trip to rehab,’’ she writes. Her fans didn’t seem to mind, lining up to meet and greet the singer.
Happy couple
Brian White and Paula Flores DaSilva recently tied the knot. White, an actor, is the son of Celts legend Jo Jo White.

Closing the season
Mia Farrow and composer Stephen Sondheim stopped backstage after one of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s final performances of the Tanglewood season. Along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, they were in the audience to hear pianist Emanuel Ax perform Brahms with the BSO led by David Zinman, filling in for recuperating conductor James Levine. Read the Names blog at Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.