Legal Battles

Dez Bryant, Claiming a Rip Off, Countersues His Ex-Mentor, Royce West

Dez Bryant has finally responded to Royce West's claim that the Cowboys' star wideout destroyed a rent house owned by the attorney and state senator. Bryant didn't specifically deny West's charge that he left dog feces, wrecked carpets and a general layer of filth in his wake when he moved out of a West-owned DeSoto house in January. West sued Bryant in hopes of recovering more than $60,000 in late June.

Instead, he claims that cronies sent his way by West ripped him off, and that West didn't do anything about it. 

Bryant says in his suit:
Starting in or about 2010, Royce West acted as Bryant’s attorney, representative and advisor in managing many of Bryant’s business, legal, financial and personal affairs. Because of the fiduciary relationship between them, Bryant relied on and reposed the utmost trust and confidence in Royce West and certainly expected West to be loyal to Bryant and to act in Bryant’s best interests. Royce West knew that Bryant trusted and relied on him. However, instead of fulfilling the role of “trusted advisor,” Royce West capitalized on Bryant’s notoriety and hard-earned success to improperly line his own pockets and those of his business associates.
Chief among those business associates, Bryant claims, was Dallas bail bondsman David Wells. Bryant says he gave Wells power of attorney and access to his bank accounts because West advised him to do so. In turn, Bryant claims, Wells misdirected more than $200,000 in endorsements and other cash that should've headed to Bryant.

In addition to sending Wells his way, Bryant also says that West enriched himself at Bryant's expense. The house that was allegedly destroyed by Bryant, the wide receiver says, wouldn't have been rented at all if not for West pushing Bryant to rent it. West took more than $300,000 in legal fees from Bryant when he wasn't interested in serving the best interests of his client, Bryant claims.

In a statement released Tuesday, West denied Bryant's accusations.

"These allegations are lies and frivolous,” he said. “Mr. Bryant needs to take responsibility for the damage done to my house and not attempt to avert focus away from his actions by making incredulous accusations against me. I intend to file a defamation suit against Mr. Bryant and his attorney for these accusations."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young