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'Extremely sick' Rodman avoids jail

March 27, 2012 at 9:21 PM
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SANTA ANA, Calif., March 27 (UPI) -- Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman, described by an adviser as an almost-broke drunk who owes $860,000 in spousal and child support, avoided jail Tuesday in California.

Rodman, who appeared in the courtroom in a white blazer, black jeans and tennis shoes, was ordered to return to an Orange County court May 29, 13 days after he turns 51, the Los Angeles Times reported.

His attorney, Linnea Willis, said in court documents her client is "extremely sick" and can barely cover his living expenses, much less meet his support responsibilities.

"In all honesty, Dennis, although a very sweet person, is an alcoholic," said Peggy Williams, his financial adviser. "His sickness impacts his ability to get work. This case, especially his wife filing for divorce, has put him on a binge that I have never seen before. He is extremely hurt and extremely sick. He is often unable to obtain work because of this sickness. And his sickness is getting increasingly worse."

Rodman said in court he and ex-wife get along and that they and his children ate dinner together Monday at a restaurant.

An attorney for Michelle Rodman, the former player's third wife, said in court documents he owes $808,935 in back child support for the 9- and 10-year-old children they had together and $51,441 through March 1 in back spousal support.

The Times said court documents show Dennis Rodman still owes more than $350,000 in back state taxes from a 2003 case.

Known as a defensive and rebounding specialist, Rodman played on five NBA championship teams during a 15-year NBA career with Detroit, San Antonio, Chicago, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Rodman's manager, Darren Prince, told ABCNews.com Tuesday Rodman is not in an inpatient treatment program, but "does see a counselor from time to time."

Prince said Rodman's most recent business endeavor was launching a topless women's basketball team with a New York strip club.

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