ORANGE (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been found in contempt of court and ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife, her attorney said Thursday.
The flamboyant basketball player known for his off-court antics was sentenced to informal probation, his ex-wife’s attorney, Mary Ann Noiroux, told City News Service. Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson warned Rodman could face jail time if he doesn’t pay the child support, she said.
Another attorney for Rodman’s ex-wife argued in court that Rodman owed Michelle Rodman about $850,000, but Linnea Willis, the former NBA standout’s attorney, challenged that figure, Noiroux said.
The two sides met outside court and agreed to $500,000, which Michaelson approved, Noiroux said.
Willis told The Associated Press the contempt finding came from Rodman unintentionally paying too little, pointing out that the judge gave Rodman no jail time or community service, and commended him for his previous community service in the case.
Willis said in a phone interview that Rodman was not present at a March 2009 hearing where he was ordered to pay additional child support and was not properly served the documents with the new order, resulting in several months of underpayment.
“He’s been complying with the court orders ever since he found out the correct information,” Willis said.
She said she would seek to have the $500,000 payment order overturned because Rodman was not present in court to challenge the initial order and his previous attorneys missed a deadline to have it set aside.
The couple must still work out custody and visitation for their two pre-teen children: a son and a daughter.
A trial is set for Jan. 24 on those issues, but the two hope to work out an agreement before the court date, Noiroux said.
This isn’t the first time Rodman has been found in contempt.
Rodman, recognizable by his facial piercings and his hair that’s dyed in brilliant colors, was ordered to perform 104 hours of community service in May after being found guilty of four counts of contempt for failure to pay child support for 2009 and 2010.
Willis said Rodman performed those hours and 23 more.
The legal battle between Rodman and his former spouse began in 2004, when Michelle filed for divorce.
Rodman was a bad-boy star of the Detroit Pistons and won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last year.
The eccentric athlete who once dated Madonna and was briefly married to Carmen Electra lived in California’s Orange County before moving to Florida.
He frequently attracted the attention of police with loud parties at his Newport Beach residence.
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