Dwyane Wade Nemesis "Bogus Baron" Backs Up His Noble Pedigree
|We're pretty sure the guy in the hoodie is a Count.|
Ten days ago, Riptide broke the story that Dwyane Wade had filed a $100 million libel suit against former business partner and current nemesis Baron Richard von Houtman. The reason: a series of inflammatory emails sent to Miami Heat coach Pat Riley alleging drug use and domestic abuse by the superstar.
Once other outlets got the news, they had fun with one of the suit's claims in particular: that Baron von Houtman's not a "Baron" at all, or even a "von". Wade's lawyers wrote:
Despite the abolition of the monarchies at the beginning of the 20th century, and notwithstanding that the defendant did not begin using the alias "von Houtman" until sometime around 1995, the makeover of the defendants identity was not complete until 1998.
Given the lack of any historical record ... it is the defendants own grandiose vision of himself that motivated the use of the title [of Baron] or, perhaps, an intention to falsely communicate to others a sense of prestige.
Forget the allegations of a financial connection between von Houtman and slain Dutch mega-trafficker Klaas Bruinsma. That von Houtman admits. "He was a druglord, but a legal druglord," he reasons (though Bruinsma did serve long prison stints for smuggling drugs from Pakistan). "Hashish and marijuana are perfectly legal in the Netherlands. He was a good man, a man of my tastes, and an impeccable dresser."
No, it's being labelled "Bogus Baron" by TMZ.com that really gets his goat. He faxes Riptide a couple of documents that he hopes squelch any doubt as to his claim to nobility. The first is an envelope, dated 1962 and from the Britain Government's War Office, to a "Baron Houtman"- his father Jack, says Richard. The second is a 1971 letter to Richard from the German Embassy in London assuring him that "in Germany all titles such as Count or Baron (Freiherr) are regarded as part of the name of the person concerned. Thus every descendant of, for instance, a Baron would be called Baron or Baroness."
Add up the two, says the man also known as Richard Anthony Houtman, and his Baronship is proven. "It's ridiculous that I have to prove it," he laments. "I've been a Baron all my life."
His final trump card: a black American Express, which reads "Baron Richard von Houtman." The credit card company requires clients to file paperwork to prove their nobility before they'll print such a title, he says.