Originally published Nov. 24, 1998
On second thought, a sober Dennis Rodman has changed his mind about being married to actress Carmen Electra.
Citing an unsound mind and fraud, the controversial Bulls forward filed a petition of annulment Monday in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court to void his Nov. 14 marriage.
Gerald Phillips, Rodman’s attorney, said the petition “indicates who (Rodman) is, how long he had been married — which in this case was one day — and he seeks a nullity of the marriage as a result of the fact that he alleges that on or about the time of the wedding he was not of sound mind. That is to say, he was drunk.”
The petition states that Rodman’s separation from Electra began the day of the wedding.
“It is my understanding that before the ceremony, Dennis had been partying extensively and he just doesn’t feel as though he had all of his faculties about him when all the other things occurred afterward,” Phillips said.
Electra’s attorneys have 30 days to respond to the petition. They may agree that the matter should be resolved as Rodman is requesting, or they may choose to contest it in court unless there is a financial settlement.
Rodman, 37, couldn’t be reached for comment. His agent, Dwight Manley, declined to comment.
It was only 10 days ago that Rodman and Electra, also known as Tara Patrick, were married in A Little Chapel of Flowers, one of some 40 little chapels specializing in quick, informal weddings along the Las Vegas strip.
When first informed of the ceremony, Manley questioned the validity of the union because of the circumstances under which it took place.
“I don’t think you can legally enter into (a marital) agreement if you’re drunk,” Manley said. “It’s my understanding that legal agreements are invalid if one or more of the parties are not within their own control. And I am told that Dennis was so drunk during the ceremony that he could hardly stand or talk.”
The Electra camp responded by releasing to the media a note allegedly written by Rodman that read, “I love Carmen and am proud to be married to her.”
But Manley saw a credibility gap in that defense.
“It wasn’t even Dennis’ handwriting,” Manley said. “Give me a break.”
It would have been the second marriage for Rodman, whose first one to model Annie Bakes 11 years ago ended in a bitter divorce after only six months. Manley charged that Rodman, who has earned some $30 million the last two years, was being exploited by Electra and companions Manley called “leeches.”
Phillips said he isn’t sure whether the minister who performed the ceremony has signed and filed the marriage certificate with Nevada’s Clark County marriage bureau. Cheryl Vernon, supervisor of the bureau, said it is not the policy of her office to issue licenses to people who are drunk.
“I don’t know how that document would affect the legality of the marriage anyway,” Phillips said. “I just know that Dennis doesn’t feel he had his wits about him when this thing occurred.”