HoopsHype Dennis Rodman rumors

January 25, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman reportedly brought thousands of dollars in luxury gifts to Kim Jong Un for his birthday. Now, Washington's looking into whether those gifts violated U.S. sanctions. Dennis Rodman was already having a rotten month, between the trip to rehab and the global condemnation for cozying up to a dictator. Now things may be about to get much worse. The U.S. Treasury Department is investigating whether he violated the law that prohibits the importing of luxury goods into North Korea. On his third and most recent trip to Pyongyang this month, Rodman reportedly brought several gifts for the young Kim’s 31st birthday. They allegedly included hundreds of dollars’ worth of Irish Jameson whiskey, European crystal, an Italian suit, a fur coat, and an English Mulberry handbag for Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju. The Daily Beast

On his third and most recent trip to Pyongyang this month, Rodman reportedly brought several gifts for the young Kim’s 31st birthday. They allegedly included hundreds of dollars’ worth of Irish Jameson whiskey, European crystal, an Italian suit, a fur coat, and an English Mulberry handbag for Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju. But these gifts, reportedly worth more than $10,000, may not have been all. Michael Spavor, a Beijing-based consultant who facilitated and joined Rodman’s trip, tweeted a photo of Rodman apparently displaying several bottles of his own brand “Bad Ass Vodka” for Kim Jong Un and his wife. These gifts could be more than tasteless. They could also put Rodman in legal jeopardy. They appear to be violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, adopted in 2006, and UNSCR 2094, adopted in 2013. The Daily Beast

Perhaps more importantly, Rodman may have violated an American law called the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), as implemented by Executive Order 13551, which President Obama signed in 2010, which makes it a violation of U.S. law for any person determined by the Treasury and State Departments “to have, directly or indirectly, imported, exported, or reexported luxury goods to or into North Korea.” The Daily Beast

The Treasury Department, in consultation with the State Department, is currently looking into the allegations that Rodman violated that law, one U.S. official told The Daily Beast. It’s unclear whether the inquiry has included the participation of the Department of Justice, which would be brought in to prosecute any violations. The Daily Beast

January 18, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman has checked into an undisclosed alcohol rehabilitation center to treat his long-time struggle with alcoholism, his agent says. Darren Prince declined on Saturday to say which facility will treat Rodman and how long he will be there. Rodman recently returned to the United States from his latest trip to North Korea. USA Today Sports

He later apologized for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized an exhibition game there. He also sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the start of the friendly game. "What was potentially a historic and monumental event turned into a nightmare for everyone concerned," Prince said. "Dennis Rodman came back from North Korea in pretty rough shape emotionally. The pressure that was put on him to be a combination 'super human' political figure and 'fixer' got the better of him. "He is embarrassed, saddened and remorseful for the anger and hurt his words have caused." USA Today Sports

January 13, 2014 Updates
January 10, 2014 Updates

Dennis Rodman is NOT on Kim Jong-Un's payroll, despite allegations from NBA Commish David Stern ... so says Dennis Rodman. TMZ Sports spoke with Rodman's rep who tells us, "Dennis did not receive, nor has he ever received, any compensation from the North Korean government." Of course, the statement is a direct response to Stern, who told CNN that Dennis only organized the basketball trip to Pyongyang because he was "blinded by a flash of North Korean money." TMZ.com

But Rodman's rep insists the bills were all covered by an Irish gambling company, Paddy Power, which withdrew its sponsorship from a "branding perspective but still honored all of their financial obligations to make the basketball diplomacy event happen." We're told Rodman is still adamant that his trip was never supposed to be political, but was only concocted as an effort to "make people in North Korea and around the world happy and all get along." TMZ.com

As Dennis Rodman continued his controversial "basketball diplomacy" inside North Korea Friday, his U.S. teammates at an exhibition game Wednesday flew out of Pyongyang praising their trip and declaring "mission accomplished". "On behalf of all the players that went on the trip, it's probably best to say that we set out on a mission to use basketball as a bridge for cultural exchange and we accomplished that mission," said Charles Smith at Beijing airport Friday. USA Today Sports

January 9, 2014 Updates

A day after the former basketball star sang "Happy Birthday" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and led a squad of former NBA players in a friendly game, Rodman issued the apology through publicist Jules Feiler in an email message to The Associated Press. "I want to apologize," Rodman said. "I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It's not an excuse, it's just the truth. "I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae's family. I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo. I embarrassed a lot of people. I'm very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I'm truly sorry." Associated Press

January 8, 2014 Updates

Cliff Robinson -- one of the ex-NBA stars who's in North Korea with Dennis Rodman -- knows his trip has turned into an international "train wreck" and expects serious backlash when he returns to the U.S. ... so says his wife. TMZ Sports spoke with Heather Robinson -- who's appeared on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" -- and she tells us her husband initially agreed to join Rodman because he thought he could help "bridge cultural differences with basketball." But after Rodman went on CNN and defended the country's dictator/murderer Kim Jong Un -- while wildly screaming at the news anchor -- Heather says her hubby knew he had instantly become a part of a PR nightmare. "The look on Cliff's face when Dennis was talking during the CNN interview, it was pure shock and confusion ... it's the look he used to give when a referee used to make a bad call." TMZ.com

The U.S. government has a serious bone to pick with Dennis Rodman ... and not just because he's gallivanting around North Korea -- he still owes more than $174k in unpaid taxes, TMZ Sports has learned. Official government records, obtained by TMZ Sports, show The Worm is still in serious debt ... owing $174,484.99 in unpaid state and federal taxes. TMZ.com

January 7, 2014 Updates

Stern, commissioner for nearly 30 years, said the league has had preliminary discussions in the past with Pyongyang about a cultural exchange but he wouldn't send any players to North Korea without the OK of the White House. Stern said he believed that these former players agreed to the game for a big payday and didn't think about the political ramifications. CNN.com

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