By AMY TAXIN, Associated Press
ORANGE, Calif. (AP) — Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman was sentenced in family court Tuesday to 104 hours of community service on four counts of contempt for failing to pay child support.
Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson also placed Rodman on three years of informal probation. The sentence includes the condition that Rodman pay current child and spousal support obligations.
"My suggestion is to use your talents as a motivator, as a fine, fine athlete and as a fine person to assist others in need," Michaelson told the retired basketball player.
The sentencing put an end to one of the disputes in the long running case, which began when Rodman's now-ex-wife filed for divorce in 2004. But Rodman still faces additional contempt charges and allegedly owes back child support in an amount that Michelle Rodman's attorneys say exceeds $800,000.
On Tuesday, the towering former star rebounder said he'd do whatever community service was required near his home in Florida, possibly working with children, and did not begrudge his former wife.
"It's all about the kids," Rodman, 51, said of the ex-couple's two children after the hearing. "It does suck the fact that it had to come to this."
Rodman was found guilty of the four counts of contempt last year for child support owed in 2009 and 2010.
Rodman's attorney Linnea Willis said the four charges stemmed from a period of time when he was expected to pay $50,000 a month in child support. That amount has since been reduced — to $4,500 for child and spousal support — and Rodman is now current on those obligations, she said.
Rodman — known for his wild behavior, Technicolor hair and his rebounding skills — married in 2003. For years, he and his former wife have been feuding over custody and support of their children, ages 10 and 11.
After Tuesday's hearing in family court in Orange County, Michelle Rodman declined comment. Her attorney, Jack Kayajanian, said he was pleased with the judge's ruling and an award of $32,500 in attorney's fees.
The outstanding disputes over back child support and additional contempt charges will be addressed at a hearing on June 22.
Willis has claimed that Rodman owes far less money in back child support than his ex-wife's attorneys allege.
Court documents filed earlier this year indicated that Rodman was "broke." His tax return from 2010 shows he earned roughly $150,000, but his financial manager said he owes significant amounts in back taxes. She also said Rodman's alcoholism has tarnished his image and made it difficult for him to obtain corporate endorsements and other work.
Rodman was a bad-boy star of the Detroit Pistons and won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. He also played for the Los Angeles Lakers, and lived in California's affluent Orange County before moving to Florida. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame last year.
Rodman dated Madonna, was married briefly to Carmen Electra, and gave loud parties that led to frequent run-ins with the law when he lived in Newport Beach.
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