Remember Dwyane Wade's baron nemesis Richard von Houtman? You know, Wade's incessantly inflammatory former business partner with a sketchy past, sued by the Miami Heat superstar last May after he claimed in an e-mail to Heat coach and president Pat Riley that Wade was using cocaine and steroids?
Well, he's back. Or, more precisely, he never went anywhere, but his jihad against Wade's public image is about to reach epic new heights.
In new pleadings in the defamation case, von Houtman is asking a judge to compel Wade to submit to a "physical examination", including "blood, urine and bodily hair samples." If Wade tests positive for drugs, von Houtman's newly-hired attorney argues, there's no merit to the case. "By filing this lawsuit, he's put his physical body at issue," says Bruce Del Valle, a DeLand-based attorney. "Truth is always the number one-defense in a defamation suit."
Von Houtman is more blunt: "I'm basically getting him to prove that I told the truth," he tells Riptide. "If I wasn't so sure that I told the truth, I certainly wouldn't be doing it."
"Mr. Wade is confident that the court will deny the request for such a test," says the Heat guard's lawyer, Michael N. Kreitzer -- who adds for good measure that von Houtman's previous lawyer quit because he "didn't pay him. Only recently did Houtman find a lawyer willing to defend him in the case. That lawyer is from a small firm based... several hundred miles from Miami-Dade."
But the physical samples aren't the only bold demand Team von Houtman is making.
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They've also scheduled depositions of Wade's agent Henry Thomas, his representatives in the William Morris and Creative Artists talent agencies -- and most significantly, of Wade's reported former mistress Gabrielle Union and his coach Riley. If a judge agrees to the subpoena, Riley will be deposed in Miami on April 21.
If it all sounds like von Houtman's attorney is using the threat of ugly publicity to scare Wade into dropping the suit -- well, you're right. "Filing this suit opens his entire personal life up to public scrutiny," says DelValle, adding that well-guarded details of the superstar's endorsement portfolio will become public record. "There's a real quick cure: Wade dismisses the case, pays my client what he owes him, and moves on."
It seems, though, that von Houtman didn't get the memo -- and if Wade filed the suit simply to quickly shut his enemy up, it didn't work. "Hell no, I don't want him to drop the case," the Brit declares. "I want him to go full ahead and sue me, and then I'll countersue him, and they'll be plenty of new nasty things to come out."
After about six months of relative quiet, Wade is now knee-deep in litigation hell once again, just in time for the NBA playoffs. His divorce court back-and-forth with his ex-wife is making TMZ readers queasy -- Google "Siouvaughn" and "chlamydia" -- and his lawsuit against his former partners in his Miami restaurant chain, the dispute that spawned the whole von Houtman debacle, begins jury trial on May 10.