The ugly fight between the Cowboys' superstar wide receiver Dez Bryan and his former mentor and attorney, state Senator Royce West, comes down to money. The pair are suing each other, claiming financial harm on both sides.
"Royce West is literally out of pocket $66,000 for the damage that was done," says West's attorney Trey Crawford. The damage to which Crawford is referring was inflicted — by Bryant, West says — on a rental property owned by West. When Bryant moved out of the house in January, he left it "littered with trash and feces, missing blinds and shutters, with cracked windows and blackened carpeting," according to a lawsuit filed by West.
The repairs required have been so extensive that West hasn't been able to lease the house again, Crawford tells the Observer.
After Bryant refused to pay for the repairs, according to Crawford, West had no choice but to sue for the cash. When West did so, Bryant was angry, texting West that a fight was coming: "I left that shit alone because I wanted to forget about it. I no longer have sympathy for y'all people. Just know you started this."
Bryant then filed a counterclaim against West, alleging that his mentor led him to become associated with Dallas bail bondsman David Wells, who Bryant said misused $200,000 of Bryant's money, and that West took more than $300,000 in legal fees without looking out for Bryant's best interest.
In Wednesday afternoon filing, West categorically denied Bryant's counterclaim and asked that the judge in the case sanction Bryant for making a demonstrably false claim. West is asking that Bryant be made to pay West's attorney's fees and contribute $500,000 to the United Negro College Fund.
"Wells actually introduced Bryant to West, not vice versa," Crawford says. "So the suggestion that my client duped Bryant into doing anything with Wells is silly."
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As far as the $300,000 goes, West's request for sanctions includes an itemized ledger of how Bryant's money was used to, primarily, settle a suit for the non-payment of a $246,000 tab against Bryant by a New York jeweler in 2011.
Kenneth Broughton, Bryant's attorney, responded to West's sanction request with a motion to quash West's request to depose him, saying that attorney-client privilege should prevent him from testifying. The request, Broughton said in a filing, is no more than "harassing litigation."
Bryant's deposition in the case is scheduled for Aug. 29, 13 days before the Cowboys' September 11 season opener against the Giants.