Less than a month after state Sen. Royce West sued Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant for allegedly trashing the lawmaker's rental home, the football player is striking back.
He has sued West, accusing the Dallas Democrat of pocketing the profits from Bryant's endorsement deals.
Bryant's suit claims West and his business associate David Wells, a bail bondsman referred to as West’s “crony” in the filing, stole more than $200,000 from Bryant by instructing endorsement companies to pay them directly instead of Bryant. The suit alleges West and Wells created Dez Enterprises to attract marketing deals using Bryant’s celebrity status — and that West abused his position as Bryant’s former attorney, representative and adviser to “line his own pockets.”
“West would instruct endorsement companies and others to make payments for any endorsement agreements to Wells, not Bryant,” the suit alleges. “Many of these payments stopped at Wells and/or West, but never reached Bryant.”
West's office directed requests for comment to his attorney, who called Bryant's accusations "lies" and "frivolous."
"Mr. Bryant needs to take responsibility for the damages caused to Mr. West's house and not attempt to avert the focus away from his actions by making incredulous and false accusations," attorney Trey Crawford said in an emailed statement.
Calls to Bryant's attorney and the Cowboys were not immediately returned.
The latest suit comes just a few weeks after West sued Bryant for allegedly trashing a DeSoto home he rented to the football star. West claimed repairing the damages would cost more than $60,000.
West's suit alleges that when Bryant moved out of the six-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home after nearly three years, he left it “in a state of serious disrepair: littered with trash and feces, missing blinds and shutters, with cracked windows and blackened carpeting.”
West is seeking between $100,000 and $200,000 from Bryant to pay for repairs, attorneys’ fees and potential lost rental income incurred while the house was being restored to its pre-Bryant state.
According to the suit, when West contacted Bryant and his legal representative about reimbursement for the damages, he was met with a legal threat.
“Mr. West received a letter from separate counsel on behalf of Mr. Bryant,” West’s suit reads. “That letter implied that Mr. Bryant would seek to file a separate and unrelated lawsuit against Mr. West should Mr. West pursue collection of the costs of repair any further.”
West used to serve as an attorney for Bryant, and Wells held power of attorney for the football player until February 2015.