Dwight Howard's attorneys file civil-contempt motion against Royce Reed
Dwight Howard's attorneys allege that Royce Reed (above) repeatedly has violated an injunction that forbids her from making disparaging remarks about Howard. Her attorney disagrees. Reed is a former Magic dancer and the mother of Howard's son, Braylon. (Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel / March 15, 2009)
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Breach of Contract
By Josh Robbins Orlando Sentinel
7:40 p.m. EDT, June 3, 2010
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Attorneys for Orlando Magic all-star Dwight Howard have asked a judge to hold Royce Reed, the mother of Howard's 2½-year-old son, in civil contempt and fine her $500,000.
The attorneys allege that Reed repeatedly has violated an injunction that forbids her from making disparaging remarks about Howard, discussing Howard's relationship with their son or in any way using Howard's name, image or likeness in any medium that can be accessed by a third party.
In a motion filed in Orange County Circuit Court, Howard's legal team claims that Reed posted Twitter messages that portrayed Howard as a liar and as an uncaring father. They also note that Reed, a star of the VH1 reality show Basketball Wives, recently appeared on The Wendy Williams Show and answered questions about Howard.
Alan B. Taylor, Reed's attorney, told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday that his client's tweets and statements "don't come anywhere near any breach of contract or agreement."
"Obviously, you've got a huge dispartity in terms of earnings and income and assets," Taylor said. "That's a concern I have here because my client is in no position, like in any case, to go toe-to-toe financially in litigation with the plaintiff. Certainly, anybody can understand that nobody likes to be talked about derogatorily. Certainly, I understand that issue. But I think it's kind of way overboard, kind of disproportionate. After all, she's the mother of his child."
A hearing has been set for June 11 before Circuit Judge Frederick J. Lauten.
The motion for civil contempt is the latest chapter in the ongoing legal disputes between Howard and Reed, a former dancer for the Magic and the Miami Heat.
Howard's attorneys now have asked the judge to issue a civil-contempt fine against Reed for $500,000, though they stress the fine could be lifted entirely if she complies with the injunction in the future.
"When all is said and done, it is our full and complete expectation that Royce Reed will be required to comply with the terms of the court-ordered injunction," C. Anthony Mulrain, Howard's lead attorney, told the Sentinel.