By Kirby Wilson, The Texas Tribune, texastribune.org
State Sen. Royce West is suing Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant for allegedly trashing — to the tune of more than $60,000 in repairs — a property he had leased to Bryant.
When Bryant moved out of the DeSoto home, West’s suit alleges, he left it “in a state of serious disrepair: littered with trash and feces, missing blinds and shutters, with cracked windows and blackened carpeting.” West, a Dallas Democrat, is seeking between $100,000 and $200,000 from Bryant to pay for repairs, attorneys’ fees and potential lost rental income incurred while the house was being restored to its pre-Bryant state.
Bryant lived in the six-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom home for almost three years, after leasing the home from West in August 2013 for $4,720 per month, according to a copy of the lease provided in the suit. As part of the lease terms, Bryant agreed to pay for any damages done to the house during his residency “excluding normal wear and tear.”
West’s suit alleges that, after Bryant moved out, West was forced to spend $61,546.77 on various repairs, which included repainting the house, replacing “a number” of windows and screens and redoing the home’s flooring and carpeting. When he first inspected the house, his suit says, he noticed “the presence of animal feces, trash, debris, and personal property inside the residence; and distinct and pervasive odors throughout.”
The lease also stipulated that Bryant pay back West for any damages within 10 days of a “written demand.” But according to the suit, when West contacted Bryant and his legal representative about reimbursement for the damages, he was met first with silence, then with a legal threat.
“Mr. West received a letter from separate counsel on behalf of Mr. Bryant,” West’s suit reads. “That letter implied that Mr. Bryant would seek to file a separate and unrelated lawsuit against Mr. West should Mr. West pursue collection of the costs of repair any further.”
In 2015, Bryant signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Cowboys, with $45 million of it guaranteed.
Requests for comment from West were redirected to his attorney, G. Michael Gruber, who did not respond to calls. Calls to Bryant’s attorney, Bryant’s agent and the Cowboys were also not returned.