Rodman told to stay away from ex-wife
A California court has extended a restraining order against former basketball star Dennis Rodman and told him to stay away from his ex-wife Michelle, who testified he showed up drunk at her apartment.
The decision comes as Dennis and Michelle continue to battle in court over unpaid child support payments that her attorneys say total about US$800,000. After the ruling on the restraining order, the former couple also had a separate hearing on child support.
In the first hearing, Orange County Court Commissioner Renee Wilson extended a restraining order she first granted as a temporary measure on 30th May. Wilson's ruling keeps the restraining order in place at least until a child support trial scheduled for late October, when the matter is set to be revisited.
Wilson also ruled that Dennis, a Hall of Fame retired NBA player known for his rebounding skills, will be allowed to visit his two kids with Michelle. But Wilson ordered that an off-duty sheriff's deputy must be present to monitor the visits.
Michelle said at a court hearing last week that Dennis showed up at her apartment at 2:30am on 28th May and was "pounding" on the door. "He was being loud and obnoxious, saying he had gifts for his son," she testified.
Dennis showed up at court wearing a T-shirt that read "Born free, live free, die free". "As long as my kids are OK, that's the most important thing and all that matters," he told Reuters shortly before his second court appearance of the day. "Michelle is a good mother. I don't hate her."
At the second court hearing in Orange, just a few miles from where the first hearing was held, Dennis took the witness stand in the child support case. Michelle's attorney grilled him over whether he received certain legal papers related to the case. "If I can be honest with you for a moment, in the last 16 years I never opened my own mail," Dennis said on the stand.
Orange County Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson set a 17th August hearing to continue to deal with the child support dispute to determine how much Dennis owes. His attorney Linnea Willis has disputed the figure of about US$800,000 that Michelle’s lawyers say she’s owed. Willis said Dennis has made payments and that the figure was based on a faulty calculation.
In May, Michaelson ordered Dennis to perform 104 hours of community service on accusations of contempt of court over his failure to make certain child support payments.
Dennis, a star defensive player who won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and two with the Detroit Pistons, has been known off the court for his party lifestyle, outlandish dress, hair colouring and for several arrests.
Published: 3rd July 2012