While Miami Heat fans worry about whether Dwyane Wade will re-sign with them this summer, the All-NBA guard has much bigger concerns.
Over the past week, Wade has gone from one legal problem to another.
Wade, who has been in a three-year custody battle with his estranged wife Siohvaugn Wade, found his wife jailed on Tuesday after not showing up for two scheduled court appearances the day before.
The Miami superstar has been seeking full custody of his two young boys and requested that his estranged wife undergo a court-ordered psychiatric examination.
At the same time, Siohvaughn Wade filed a lawsuit against Wade’s current girlfriend, actress Gabrielle Union, for engaging in “sexual foreplay” with Wade near the couple’s children.
Today Wade found himself back in court for the jury selection of another trial.
West Palm Beach restaurant developer Mark Rodberg and a British national named Richard von Houtman brought a $25 million breach-of-contract suit against Wade for his part in a failed restaurant venture.
The two claim Wade did not fulfill his marketing obligations in what was supposed to be a national chain of restaurants called D.Wade’s Place. The marketing deal reportedly included four visits a year by Wade in each of the Florida restaurants, as well as VIP openings. In return for this alleged agreement, Wade was paid $1 million and a 10 percent stake in the business.
Jose Lambiet from the Palm Beach Post described the venture in more detail:
(Rodberg and von Houtman) already spent millions (on the restaurant locations). Some of the money went to buy the 13 Florida places, including nine existing Hops microbreweries to be transformed into D. Wade’s.
Some more cash went to buying a $350,000-plus Rolls-Royce with Wade’s Heat number, 3, etched in the center of the wheels. Some more cash, $30,000, was used to throw Wade a world-class birthday bash in January.
So far, however, only two restaurants were opened: a small one in Boca; the other, a large place in Fort Lauderdale. Both were closed within weeks. And work at the chain’s flagship restaurant in Aventura is more than six months late. Construction, however, is winding down, and the place is supposed to open before the end of the year, despite the lawsuit.
Word is that Rodberg and Von Houtman spent nearly $3.5 million on that restaurant alone.
The deal was reportedly brokered through Wade’s childhood friend, Marcus Andrews. Unfortunately, the restaurants that opened flopped instantly and the ones that didn’t were scrapped immediately.
When Wade refused to invest any more time or resources into the venture, von Houtman took legal action against the Heat star.
From the New York Times:
Beginning in late 2008, von Houtman began firing off emails to Riley lobbying the Heat president to “influence” a settlement to the restaurant lawsuits. And in February 2009, he launched a smear campaign against the Heat superstar, meeting with reporters from the Palm Beach Post and New Times to make allegations about Wade’s personal life.
Dwyane Wade just may have to re-sign with the Miami Heat -- who can offer him more money than any other team -- just to cover his legal expenses.