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Dennis Rodman skips jail, sentenced to community service in OC child support battle

Dennis Rodman was upbeat before entering court in Orange County on Tuesday, May 29, 2012.
Dennis Rodman was upbeat before entering court in Orange County on Tuesday, May 29, 2012.

Dennis Rodman avoided jail, this time -- but he did not avoid 104 hours of community service for failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support.

“Like I always said, it’s all about the kids,” Rodman, 51, told reporters as he entered court in Orange this morning. The tattooed, pierced and sometimes cross-dressing star has feuded for years with his ex-wife Michelle Rodman over custody and support of their two children, ages 11 and 10 (some reports put their ages at 10 and 9).

The NBA Hall of Famer received his sentence in Orange County Superior Court today, and was also ordered to make back-payments -- a disputed amount said to be in the neighborhood of $800,000 -- to his ex-wife by the end of October.

How exactly he’ll do that is unclear, as the former star -- once paid millions of dollars a year for his defensive prowess on the court -- is now broke and suffering from alcoholism, according to his finance manager Peggy Williams.

“In all honesty, Dennis, although a very sweet person, is an alcoholic,” Williams said as quoted in the Daily Pilot. “His sickness impacts his ability to get work.”

Because of this, Williams said, “Dennis cannot afford his own monthly expenses. If the court awards attorney fees, it is setting Dennis up to be in contempt because you cannot get blood from a turnip.”

But if Rodman’s optimism this morning is any indication, perhaps the rebound legend can rebound from this too.

Court Commissioner Barry Michaelson pointed to Rodman’s good qualities during today’s court proceedings.

“My suggestion is to use your talents as a motivator, as a fine, fine athlete and as a fine person to assist others in need,” he said, according to NBC.

Rodman is not out of the woods yet, however: He could still face jail time when he returns to court on June 22 for another hearing on a contempt-of-court allegation, the Orange County Register reports.