By Dana Feldman
ORANGE, California (Reuters) - A California court on Friday extended a restraining order against former basketball star Dennis Rodman and told him to stay away from his ex-wife who testified he showed up drunk at her apartment.
The decision comes as Rodman, 51, and his former spouse, Michelle, continue to battle in court over unpaid child support payments that her attorneys say total about $800,000.
It was a busy day for the former couple, who after the ruling on the restraining order also had a separate hearing on child support.
In the first hearing, Orange County Court Commissioner Renee Wilson extended a restraining order she first granted as a temporary measure on May 30. Wilson's ruling keeps the restraining order in place at least until a child support trial scheduled for late October, when the matter is set to be revisited.
Wilson also ruled that Rodman, a Hall of Fame retired National Basketball Association player known for his great rebounding skills, will be allowed to visit his two children with Michelle. But Wilson ordered that an off-duty sheriff's deputy must be present to monitor the visits.
Michelle said at a court hearing on Thursday that Rodman showed up at her apartment at 2:30 a.m. on May 28 and was "pounding" on the door. "He was being loud and obnoxious, saying he had gifts for his son," Michelle Rodman testified.
On Friday, Rodman showed up at court wearing a T-shirt that read "Born free, live free, die free."
"As long as my kids are OK, that's the most important thing and all that matters," he told Reuters shortly before his second court appearance of the day. "Michelle is a good mother. I don't hate her."
At the second court hearing in Orange, just a few miles from where the first hearing was held, Rodman took the witness stand in the child support case.
His ex-wife's attorney grilled him over whether he received certain legal papers related to the case. "If I can be honest with you for a moment, in the last 16 years I never opened my own mail," Rodman said on the stand.
Orange County Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson set an August 17 hearing to continue to deal with the child support dispute to determine how much Rodman owes. Rodman's attorney, Linnea Willis, has disputed the figure of about $800,000 that Michelle Rodman's lawyers say she is owed.
Willis said Rodman has made payments, and that the figure was based on a faulty calculation.
In May, Michaelson ordered Rodman to perform 104 hours of community service on accusations of contempt of court over his failure to make certain child support payments.
Rodman, a star defensive player who won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and two with the Detroit Pistons, has been known off the court for his party lifestyle, outlandish dress, hair coloring and for several arrests.
(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)