No one likes to be the punchline of a joke. Sometimes it makes someone want to punch back.
Jack Kayajanian, whose law firm is based in Costa Mesa, did not appreciate the joke I made him out to be as part of my column on Dennis Rodman and his child-support case last week.
Jack defended himself, defended his stance and took exception to some of the things I wrote. He's the lawyer for Michelle Rodman, Dennis' third wife. Michelle, who has two children from Dennis, lives in Costa Mesa.
Michelle hasn't really been living as well as you might think, being the ex-wife of a famous former basketball player, Jack says. She's had to live in hotel rooms. She has also been without a job and with no car her chances of finding work have dwindled.
Michelle has had to ask Dennis, or his business manager, to send money more than once, Jack said. As Michelle's lawyer, Jack just wants what's best for her. And that's the point of his contention. That's why he wasn't thrilled about what I wrote.
He initially sent me a highly charged press release mainly to get Dennis' attention. I wrote that the press release was mostly false.
Jack disagreed. Dennis, in fact, did owe a payment of $50,000 per month and with interest it ballooned to $808,935 in back payments. The commissioner in the case recently reduced the payment to $3,450 per month.
The lawyers and the commissioner talked mostly about lawyer's fees of Jack last week. Jack said he was unaware the day's proceedings would be mostly about his fees. The commissioner never sentenced Dennis on a lingering contempt of court.
That's set to take place May 29. Jack is trying to prove Dennis has more money than what court records indicate and more than what the media has portrayed.
Jack wants to know all of the work Dennis does. That equals income and the child support will be based on that income.
Jack came face to face with some of that work that Dennis does. Jack and his wife went to New Orleans to watch the Final Four. Jack flipped through a game program and said he saw a full-page color ad for a hair product that featured Dennis. Jack said Dennis' attorneys or business manager did not disclose the ad as an additional source of income.
My column last week was mostly about Dennis saving face, but Jack thought it was really just about the Worm buying time. The truth will come out May 29, Jack said.
Jack thought the press release would only help matters. He didn't see it as a reckless act even though he never told Michelle about it.
He regrets that the names of the children were in the press release. Michelle and Dennis were disappointed about that.
Michelle said she gets along with Dennis. But she hesitated when I asked her if Dennis is a good dad to the children.
"No comment," she said.
For his part, Dennis did say he wants to make sure his kids are taken care of. Jack wants the truth to come out. He believes it will during the next court date, May 29.