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Rodman apologizes to cameraman, settles out of court

January 21, 1997 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Dennis Rodman called Tuesday to say he’s sorry.

The Chicago Bulls star apologized to Target Center cameraman Eugene Amos after agreeing to a $200,000 out-of-court settlement that also assured that Rodman would not face criminal prosecution.

``Both men are going to be going on with their lives,″ said Minneapolis lawyer Andrew Luger, who represented Rodman. ``They had a cordial conversation that I think allows both of them to move forward without any ill will at all.″

Amos has ``gone away for two or three weeks,″ according to a man who answered Amos’ phone Tuesday but did not identify himself. In a news release from Luger’s office, Amos said he was ``grateful for the professional, expeditious and courteous treatment I have received from Mr. Rodman.″

Amos’ lawyer, Gale Pearson, did not return repeated messages left at her office.

Although Luger confirmed a settlement had been reached, he refused to discuss financial terms. A source who asked not to be identified told The Associated Press on Monday the settlement was for $200,000.

That brings the total cost of Rodman’s kick to nearly $1.5 million. The NBA suspended Rodman without pay for at least 11 games and fined him $25,000. The suspension is the second-longest in NBA history and will cost Rodman more than $1.1 million in pay.

The deal also included Amos’ agreement not to pursue an assault charge against Rodman.

Amos, an in-house cameraman working on a freelance basis at the Target Center, was shooting video footage of the Bulls game against the Timberwolves on Jan. 15 when Rodman stumbled out of bounds and fell on top of a photographer seated next to Amos.

Amos turned his camera on Rodman, who responded by kicking Amos very high on the inside of his left thigh. Amos was attended to at courtside for several minutes before he was carried off on a stretcher and treated briefly at a hospital.

He filed an assault report against Rodman and said he intended to pursue an assault charge. If a charge had been filed it most likely would have been fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

But Amos told police over the weekend that he would not pursue charges because a settlement appeared imminent. Police said the criminal case could be re-opened if Amos reconsiders, a rare occurrence in such cases.

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It has been a costly week for Rodman, who also must undergo counseling during his suspension. He then must meet with commissioner David Stern after the Feb. 9 All-Star game and convince him why he should be reinstated.

The National Basketball Players Association said it would challenge Rodman’s suspension.

The flamboyant forward knew he had made a mistake almost from the instant his kick landed, Luger said.

``From the moment that I was brought into this matter, Mr. Rodman has expressed regret over this incident and a desire to apologize privately to Mr. Amos,″ Luger said. ``It only took this long because the lawyers had to work out the details.″