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Dwyane Wade's Baron Nemesis Files Libel Counterclaim

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For those keeping score at home, there are now three lawsuits involving Heat superstar Dwyane Wade and his former partners in an aborted South Florida restaurant chain bearing his name. In June, Riptide first reported Wade had filed a libel suit in Miami-Dade court against Richard von Houtman, the vociferous British bodybuilder who has made smearing the baller his full-time job since February.

The libel suit hinges on a series of emails von Houtman sent to Heat president Pat Riley urging him to "influence" settlement of a lawsuit involving D. Wade's Sports Grill chain, which failed in 2008, claim the Wade's lawyers. Wade took some stabs at von Houtman too, exposing the baron's late-'80s business partnership with Dutch drug lord Klaas Bruinsma and even suggesting that the baron ain't a baron at all. The all-star claims, "There is no evidence or history of nobility in the von Houtman family," and is seeking damages "in excess of $100 million."

Now Riptide has learned von Houtman has filed a counterclaim against Wade seeking the far more modest sum of $400,000. The Briton claims Wade "represented" to him that he would receive a 25 percent chunk of Wade Global LLC, the umbrella corporation overseeing many of the superstar's off-the-court business enterprises, "in exchange for... certain expenses... exceeding $400,000." This includes renting office space at the Acqua (which he has claimed Wade used as a sex den for groupies), "cash advances" to business manager Marcus Andrews (von Houtman has said he made $150,000 in graft payments to curry favor with Wade), and expenses for a Maybach accident the Heat player was in that von Houtman paid.

Oh yeah, and von Houtman doesn't much like his dirty laundry aired either, filing a motion to strike Wade's claims concerning his five divorces and false nobility. Von Houtman even filed the same documents he sent us that he believes prove he is in fact a baron.

But we were most intrigued by a couple of the "interrogatories" von Houtman has shipped Wade's way; the superstar is legally compelled to answer them truthfully unless his lawyers can argue his way out of it:

  • "Have you smoked, used cocaine, and/or steroids? If so, please set forth the date, time, and any persons present when this occurred."
  • "Have you been in any hotel rooms or at any parties where smoking, use of cocaine and/or steroids were present. If so, please set forth the date, time, and circumstances."

We are on pins and needles waiting to see how Wade responds.

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