By Chuck Strouse
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By Terrence McCoy
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We weren't celebrating — and we're still confident D-Wade is gonna right the ship.
But while we believe the superstar can take the Heat to the NBA promised land, we're not so sure about his chances of getting past Saint Peter. Sure, some of the many smears on Wade's character have no evidence to back them up and could certainly be rooted in personal vendettas, but we're beginning to think we might be cheering for the villain.
Behold, the holy trinity of nefarious allegations against D-Wade:
1. He's an adulterer: Richard von Houtman, British baron and jilted former business partner of Wade's, takes a special glee in describing #3's promiscuity. Houtman and Wade partnered in the short-lived D-Wade's Place restaurant chain, which had two South Florida locations. "All Dwyane was focused on was picking up the waitresses," Houtman clucks to Riptide. Wade's publicist dismisses von Houtman's claims: "It's a shame that a disgruntled former business associate is peddling these fairy tales to fit his own personal agenda."
2. He knowingly gave his wife an STD: According to court papers filed by ex-wife Siohvaughn, Wade's extramarital affairs resulted in his contracting an unnamed STD, which he passed on to her. "Dwyane knew or should have known that he was infected," the court papers claim, but "did not inform, disclose, or warn Siohvaughn." Siohvaughn later retracted those claims, and Wade is suing her for harming his reputation. "It is sad that an obviously angry and bitter woman will go to any lengths to publicly damage Mr. Wade," the superstar's lawyer told reporters.
3. His entourage controls him: Von Houtman claims he paid $150,000 to right-hand man Marcus Andrews, a childhood friend of Wade's, during his business relationship with the basketball player. The reason: graft. "Marcus's favorite saying was 'Do you want a happy Dwyane or a sad Dwyane?'" von Houtman claims. Contacted by Riptide, Andrews emailed a brief response: "Not true!"