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Dennis Rodman is denying claims that he helped a group of people steal from a California yoga studio earlier this week.
Owners of the VIBES Hot Yoga studio in Newport Beach told TMZ that their surveillance cameras captured the 57-year-old former NBA pro causing a distraction on Tuesday while a group of his friends robbed the store, with one woman stuffing merchandise into her purse and even apparently using Rodman to hide from view at one point.
The store owners claim that Rodman and company stole an expensive piece of art and $500 worth of merchandise, leaving them no choice but to file a police report, but Rodman is maintaining his innocence. Speaking to TMZ on Thursday, he told the outlet, “Nothing happened.”
Surveillance footage purportedly shows one of Rodman’s friends lifting a piece of crystal – valued by TMZ at $2,500 – and then dropping it, causing it to break, but then leaving the store with the item later. However, as Rodman tells it, store employees asked he and his companions to help move the crystal piece, and he graciously agreed to help, because, “I try to help ... as the good person I am,” he said.
He did not explain why the employees needed his help.
He said that he’d earlier asked employees if he and his friends could take “a couple of gifts” and moving the piece was the agreed upon exchange. As far as claims that the group left the store with $500 worth of clothing, Rodman denied it, and said that the store gave the products to them. Companions who were with the Hall of Famer during Thursday’s TMZ interview were apparently the same people who were with Rodman in the studio that day, and they supported his story.
Rodman went on to claim that the company is “broke” and that they came up with the “heist” story as a way of getting “publicity” and “exposure.”
“I don’t need to steal sh-t,” he said, adding later, “They give me sh-t.”
In response to claims that he and his group smelled like alcohol during the encounter, Rodman said that alcohol “had nothing to do with it.”
The Newport Beach Police Department has confirmed to TMZ that they are investigating the matter.
Rodman is currently on probation related to a DUI arrest last year, but he suggested to TMZ that he does not believe that he will be charged.
“Am I going to jail? No,” he said.
Rodman, who has long struggled with sobriety, pleaded guilty last March to two misdemeanor charges after getting arrested for driving under the influence earlier that year. He was ordered to complete a nine-month alcohol education program, in addition to paying a $390 fine and remaining on temporary probation for three years, USA Today reports.
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