This week, former NBA star and all-around odd character Dennis Rodman was sentenced to three years of probation and 104 hours of community service after a court found him guilty of contempt for failing to pay child support, sources say.
Rodman reportedly owes “hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional back child support,” according to a court official who was quoted in an article in the Los Angeles Times.
The sentencing could have been harsher for Rodman, who was told by a judge in March that he faced a possible 20-day jail sentence if he couldn’t come up with the $860,376 that he owed his ex-wife for the care of their children.
This lofty sum also includes alimony Rodman owes to his ex-wife, Michelle Rodman, with whom the former basketball star had his third unsuccessful marriage.
Despite having a lucrative 14-year career in the NBA, Rodman is now pleading poverty. His financial advisor, Peggy Williams, told the court that her client is an alcoholic, and that “his sickness impacts his ability to get work.”
In recent years, Rodman has made some money doing promotional appearances and other work in the entertainment world, but he claims he is now broke.
When his third ex-wide filed for divorce in 2004, Rodman sold his palatial oceanfront home in Newport Beach, which started a series of events that led to his financial demise.
While he made a lot of money during his career, Rodman seems to have spent it all in spectacular fashion. The Los Angeles Times reports that Rodman spent his millions on large properties, a Humvee, a helicopter, and a 47-foot speedboat named “Sexual Chocolate.”
Rodman told the court that his hard-partying lifestyle cost him more than $31,000 a month, and it appears that these costs compromised his ability to make his child support and alimony payments.
And Rodman’s troubles with the Orange County court system are not over yet. He still is expected to settle his child support dispute and answer to an addition contempt charge when he appears in court again on June 22.
Unfortunately for his ex-wife, these contempt charges are probably the most powerful tool the court has against parents who fail to pay child support.
The conundrum, though, is that when deadbeat parents are in jail, they cannot make money. So courts often have to release these parents with the hope that they find gainful employment and start meeting their financial obligations.