A Southern California yoga studio accused former NBA star Dennis Rodman and several others of stealing more than $3,500 in merchandise, including a 400-pound amethyst crystal, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Ali Shah — who owns of Vibes Hot Yoga in Newport Beach, California, with his wife — said that Rodman and several others, including a former employee, entered the studio twice this week and stole merchandise and the crystal — and that they saw the events take place live on video, per the report.
Shah said that Rodman and the others worked together to distract an employee on Tuesday so they could steal clothes and other merchandise. Shah said one of the women stuffed merchandise into her purse, and took items to the restroom to remove hangers.
“It’s clear as daylight,” Shah told the Los Angeles Times about the security footage.
The crystal shattered
The group also reportedly told an employee that the “ginormous geode amethyst crystal,” which was on sale for $2,500, belonged to them and they were there to pick it up.
One of the men in the group then tried to move the crystal onto a hand truck, per the report, and dropped it. The crystal shattered, which caused about $5,000 worth of damage to the floor. Rodman identified his friend who actually broke the crystal in an interview with CBS2 Los Angeles, though the man only said, “no comment.”
Rodman told TMZ later that an employee actually asked them to move the crystal, and that he tried to help “being the good person that I am.”
Shah, who was watching the footage live remotely, contacted both the employee and police, who arrived about 10 minutes after they left to take a report.
Returning the next day
Shah said that Rodman and a woman returned on Wednesday, and were waiting for the studio to open that afternoon. Again, Shah said that Rodman tried to distract the employee while the woman grabbed merchandise.
They left after about 10 minutes.
The pair reportedly smelled of alcohol on both trips to the store, which Shah described as “sloppy.” Rodman denied that claim to TMZ.
“This is a weird, freak situation,” Shah told the Los Angeles Times.
Rodman denies the accusations
The five-time NBA champion has denied the accusations multiple times, and said that he asked the owner if he could have some gifts.
“He said, ‘Dennis, get anything you want,’” Rodman told CBS2 Los Angeles. “I said, ‘OK, great.’”
Rodman told TMZ that he thinks the studio was simply trying to shake him down.
“They call it a heist, because guess what? That f—ing company, I guess you call it yoga or something? They’re broke,” Rodman told TMZ.
“This is publicity, and s— like that … I don’t need to steal s—. They gave me s—.”
The Newport Beach Police Department is currently investigating the incident, and has not arrested anyone, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Rodman played in the NBA from 1986-2000, most notably with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
He has remained in the news in recent years for his public friendships with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump. Rodman’s relationship with Trump started when he appeared on “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009, and Rodman has visited Kim in North Korea multiple times. He also wished both Trump and Kim the “best of luck” before their second summit in Vietnam in February.