Dennis Rodman's Lawyer Says He's Not a 'Deadbeat Dad'

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Dennis Rodman's Lawyer Says He's Not a 'Deadbeat Dad'
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Dennis Rodman's Lawyer Says He's Not a 'Deadbeat Dad' (ABC News)

Dennis Rodman's lawyer said Wednesday that the retired NBA player is not a "deadbeat dad," following court papers filed Tuesday that claimed Rodman owes more than $800,000 in child support.

"The way that it's being painted makes it sound like he's in horrible shape," Rodman's lawyer, Linnea Willis, told ABCNews.com. "This makes him sound like he's a deadbeat dead. The bottom line here is that Dennis Rodman has always paid child support to the best of his ability and will continue to do so."

On Tuesday, a lawyer for Rodman's ex-wife, Michelle Rodman, filed papers in a Los Angeles court claiming Rodman owed more than $800,000 in back child support for the couple's 9- and 10-year-old children as of March 1st. He was previously ordered to pay his ex-wife $50,000 per month for child support. In response, Willis filed a motion to counter the $50,000 per month order.

She said that order was issued in 2010 "without consideration of Dennis' actual income, but rather was based on an exaggerated income amount made up by his ex-wife's attorneys." She also said that Rodman was not properly served legal papers.

Rodman's manager, Darren Prince, said Rodman has been paying "at least $4,000 or $5,000" to his ex-wife each month. Willis said the court "didn't have evidence about all the payments that were made."

"The only thing that was at issue was for certain months that her attorney brought up, he did pay something but it wasn't enough," Willis said.

A sentencing hearing for Rodman has been set for May 29. While his ex-wife's attorney said Rodman faces jail time for his inability to pay child and spousal support, Willis said the judge "made it very clear he's not going to give him jail time."

Michelle Rodman's lawyer, Jack Kayajanian, did not respond to ABCNews.com's requests for comment.

Willis also clarified Rodman's condition. Tuesday's court papers described the former Chicago Bulls rebound star as "extremely sick."

"The way that it's being painted makes it sound like he's in horrible shape, he's not," she said. "He plays, he plays in China, he makes appearances."

On Tuesday, Prince, Rodman's manager, told ABCNews.com that Rodman has been sidelined by his "well-documented drinking problem." Willis insisted that despite his setbacks, Rodman remains on good terms with his ex-wife and children.

"Whenever he sees the kids and whenever they're here, they talk," she said. "He loves her still. On their end, it's not contentious."

Dennis Rodman and Michelle Rodman married in 2003 after dating for four years. Michelle Rodman filed for divorce in 2004, but their marriage was not officially dissolved until earlier this year because of attempts at reconciliation.

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