D-Wade's Full Court Press

Heat star hits former business partner with libel suit

Dwyane Wade's used to hearing trash talk from fellow NBA players but not from a 63-year-old restauranteur.

So when Wade's former business partner started telling anyone in Miami who would listen that the Heat star was a drug-dropping cad who cheated on his wife and was a lousy businessman, Wade did the only sensible thing he could do: file a libel suit.

Richard von Houtman was partners with Wade in his failed D Wade's Place restaurant chain, but it doesn't look like the two will be partnering up on anything else anytime soon.

Wade's libel suit centers around an e-mail Von Houtman sent to Heat president Pat Riley, which detailed all the nefarious things Wade and the rest of the Heat were doing off the court.

"Mr. Wade is a bully and a coward...He and most of your Heat players are smoking, using cocaine, and steroids," the letter read, according to the New Times. "I wonder how and why the Heat organization can condone such behavior."

Though Wade may not be entirely innocent in this whole failed restaurant debacle - he's currently being sued for not doing enough to support the business - his lawyers think he's got a slam dunk case against von Houtman.

Wade's libel suit claims the purpose of von Houtman's letter to Riley "was an obvious and unabashed attempt to pressure Mr. Wade into a settlement of the legal dispute by embarrassing Mr. Wade in the eyes of his employer and boss."

The lawsuit even manages to dig a little deeper into the alleged shady past of von Houtman, who has been married no fewer than five times, has been arrested for resisting arrest and may have ties to Dutch gangster/druglord Klaas Bruinsma.

Hopefully this all gets cleared up by the start of next season, so Wade can focus on the on-court trash talkers.

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