Off-the field problems continue to mount for Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, who is the subject of two lawsuits approaching $900,000, including one of which could return NCAA scrutiny to Oklahoma State.
His attorney, Texas state senator Royce West said they will respond to the suits the appropriate way.
But he wonders aloud why the 2010 first round pick has being singled out since he joined the Cowboys.
"Why is there so much excitement? Is it like this with all celebrities?," West asked rhetorically. "He has been scrutinized from the beginning. We have a couple of lawsuits. We are going to respond to the lawsuits."
Eleow Hunt of Colleyville is suing Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and his adviser David Wells for $600,000 for breach of contract for money, jewelry and tickets to sporting events dating back to January 2009.
He was still a member of the Oklahoma State football team at the time, which could raise a red flag with the NCAA and the school about his eligibility.
Bryant played three games in 2009 before being ruled ineligible by the NCAA for lying about having dinner with former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders.
This is in addition to a suit filed Monday by a New York-based company alleging he owes it for $246,000 worth of jewelry.
According to the Hunt suit, which was filed on September 13, 2010 and amended recently, Hunt sold Bryant numerous pieces of jewelry between Jan. 31, 2009 and July 11, 2011. Among the items were a “custom Cartier diamond watch,” a “white gold diamond dog tag set,” a “custom diamond engagement ring,” a “custom diamond Jesus medallion” and a “custom diamond Gucci bracelet.”
Bryant also purchased tickets to sporting events, including 10 tickets worth $5,750 for the Cowboys’ 2009 regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and six tickets worth $3,750 for the Cowboys’ playoff victory over the Eagles one week later. According to the suit, he also received four tickets for an NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Cleveland Cavaliers in December 2009, totaling $2,500.
Hunt said he loaned Wells $25,000 on Dec. 3, 2009. The loan was to be repaid no later than March 31, 2010. Wells has repaid $15,000 of the loan, but hasn’t repaid the remaining amount, the suit says. The suit also states that Wells contacted Hunt and asked him to loan Bryant $1,000 to be repaid on or before July 31, 2010. That loan also has not been repaid, Hunt says.
In general, payment for the jewelry was due on or before July 2010 or when Bryant signed his first marketing or sports contract. The suit breakdown includes $588,500 in jewelry; $15,850 for NBA and NFL tickets; and $11,000 in loans, minus the $15,000 repaid on the original loan.
News of the suits against Bryant comes one week after he was in the headlines because of an incident at North Park Center mall in Dallas when he and his friends were accused of wearing sagging pants by an off-duty policeman. Bryant was subsequently given a criminal trespass citation and banned from the mall for 90 days before the ruling was reversed by North Park Center officials last Friday.
West said the incident was an example of a policeman over stepping his bounds and Bryant being singled out.
“The officer in North Park had no legal grounds to approach Dez and his friends,” West said. “Why is no one raising the issue of how the officer handled the situation?.”
Wells was unavailable for comment.
Hunt nor his attorney Beth Ann Blackwood returned calls for comment.
The Cowboys can't comment on Bryant because of the NFL lockout.
Clarence E. Hill Jr.