Alex Rodriguez is being sued by his own attorney, David Cornwell, over $380,000 in allegedly unpaid legal fees.
In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan on Monday, Cornwell and his firm Gordan & Rees said Rodriguez never finished paying them for work performed on his failed bid to overturn a lengthy doping suspension received in connection with the Biogenesis scandal.
Rodriguez’ troubles started back in January 2013 when the Miami New Times published an article linking him, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colón, and others to the Biogenesis Clinic. Although Biogensis billed itself as an anti-aging clinic, it was actually providing the athletes with performance-enhancing drugs.
When the MLB commenced a series of meetings and investigations, Rodriguez set about assembling what he called a “legal dream team.” He included Cornwell because the veteran sports attorney had been a key player in getting Ryan Braun’s 2012 doping suspension overturned.
In August the MLB banned Rodriguez for 211 games. In January the suspension was reduced to 162 games, effectively keeping the New York Yankees third baseman off the field for the entire 2014 season.
At the time, Rodriguez issued a statement on Facebook:
In a 12-page complaint filed by Gordon & Rees in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the firm said that Rodriguez is acting at least partially upon the recommendation of Roc Nation Sports, a sports management company owned by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.
“Most recently, Mr. Rodriguez admitted that his advisers at Roc Nation, most specifically, Desiree Perez, instructed him ‘not to pay the invoices, and to make Gordon & Rees sue’ him.”
Desiree Perez is one of Jay Z’s top advisors at Roc Nation. And she’s had her own share of trouble with the law. In 1994 she was arrested for intent to distribute cocaine and later served as a cooperating witness for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Back in May, when Rodriguez was set to cut a deal with the MLB and retire early, Perez allegedly convinced him to continue fighting the charges.
What does A-Rod have to say about all of this?
“Alex Rodriguez has already paid substantial legal fees to this firm,” said his spokesman. “There are additional fees being sought from hours that continued to be billed and are the source of the disagreement between the parties. Alex looks forward to swiftly resolving this matter and moving on.”
And Rodriguez has denied being influenced by Perez, saying he has no official ties to Roc Nation Sports:
“I made my own decisions with my legal team over the last year, and I have accepted my penalties and am trying to serve my penalty.”
The Gordan & Rees lawsuit comes at a time when Rodriguez appears to be attempting to lie low and quietly ride out his suspension.
His Facebook feed is filled with photos of him spending time with daughters Natasha and Ella and volunteering for the Boys and Girls Club in Miami.
Image via Wikimedia Commons