Sign in to follow this  

Ricky Williams net worth $230,000

Recommended Posts

In case there was any question why he came back...


Ricky Williams' NFL millions virtually gone

By Carlos Frias


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer


Sunday, August 14, 2005


Ricky Williams gave many reasons for his decision to return to football.


But one, above all, speaks the loudest: his bank account balance.


The Dolphins running back, who has earned more than $16 million in his five-year NFL career, has a net worth of less than $230,000, according to a review of his financial records found in court documents and state and county records.


Williams was forced to make his holdings and debts public earlier this year when he was sued for child support by a woman in Hawaii, the mother of one of his three children.


According to a financial affidavit submitted on his behalf on Jan. 11, 2005, he owes nearly $1.1 million, including unpaid child support, agent fees and taxes.


And that does not take into account the $8.6 million that a federal judge said he owes the Dolphins for breach of contract after suddenly announcing his retirement a week before training camp began last season.


Three weeks ago, after his first practice since returning to the Dolphins, Williams mentioned debt as a reason for playing football again.


"Everyone knows I have three children, so I was looking at my future," he said. "Whether I wanted to go back to school or start a new job, I'd have that settlement chasing me, so I can't say that it didn't play into my decision."


Williams is paying child support for two children in the amount of about $100,000 a year. His other child lives with him.


Since signing his first contract with the New Orleans Saints in 1999, an incentive-based deal that could have been worth as much as $68 million, his money has evaporated.


As of January, according to the financial affidavit, his assets amounted to $1,321,675, most of that from selling all of his properties. Minus money he owed, his net worth at the time was $228,841.


Williams' career earnings — even after paying about 40 percent in combined state and federal taxes and 3 percent to 4 percent in fees to agents — would have amounted to more than $8 million, according to estimates from several forensic accountants.


Williams and his agent, Leigh Steinberg, did not respond to repeated interview requests for this story.


Where did all the money go?


Not into excesses, his friends say. Williams has often said he doesn't value material things. He spent several weeks in the Australian outback, living out of a Volkswagen van. Aside from real estate investments, his most extravagant purchase was a $140,000 1999 Ferrari Modena, according to Florida records.


But Williams has splurged in the past. He bought paintings, hiring South Florida artist David "Lebo" LeBatard to paint a mural in his son's room. At one point, he owned a motorcycle and six cars, including a Hummer, a Mercedes-Benz S600 and the Ferrari. And he told a newspaper in 2002 that he once cashed a $20,000 check from a paid appearance and went straight to a casino. He said he blew all the money in a half-hour of playing craps.


Friends and business associates say Williams has spent or given away much of his earnings. He donated money to institutions, bought cars and homes for friends and family members, put his two sisters through college and sometimes just wrote checks to help people "get back on their feet," one friend said.


"Ricky isn't any kind of crazy spender," said Renie Colwell, who ran the San Diego-based Ricky Williams Foundation, a charity for children that has been inactive since Williams' retirement. "He has been very giving, very helpful. Maybe to a fault."


Putting family first


Caring for his family was a priority for Williams.


He bought his mother a house valued at more than $200,000 in Austin, Texas, according to state records. He put his twin sister, Cassie, through college and also paid for a younger sister's schooling.


"He took care of his family. That was important to him," said Barbara Sanfilipo, a longtime family friend whose children attended elementary and high school with Williams in San Diego.


Williams has three children — a 6-year-old daughter who lives in Boston with her mother, a 2-year-old son who lives in Hawaii with his mother and a 3-year-old son who lives with Williams.


He has a private agreement with the mother of his daughter, paying her $4,500 a month. He did not know about the son in Hawaii until last year, when Cherie Nicole Clark sued Williams to prove paternity and to request court-ordered child support.


Williams at first challenged that he was the father but later agreed to waive a paternity test, according to court documents. As part of a settlement, he pays Clark $4,200 a month in child support.


Williams and girlfriend Kristin Barnes are living together in Boca Raton and raising his other son.


"I can say he is responsible for all his children, and he's a committed father," Barnes said.


Soon after retiring, Williams behaved as if finances weren't a concern.


He toured with rocker Lenny Kravitz, a longtime friend. He studied yoga in India. He spent time in Australia's outback. He visited Thailand. He enrolled as a full-time student at a school for holistic medicine in California.


Financial troubles mounted with the paternity suit, and just as that case was being contested, an arbiter ruled last September that Williams had to repay the Dolphins $8.6 million for breach of contract.


At the time, Williams' financial statement in family court listed him as a student and unemployed.


He made $812,755.47 through the first half of 2004, according to the statement, but listed "0" dollars for the rest of the year.


He made $5,621,188 in 2003, according to a tax return he submitted to the court, and had $1,120,504 of gross earnings from the Dolphins in 2004. But most of that money, according to the financial affidavit, seemed to have been spent.


The child support suit was never resolved by the court. He reached a settlement that the court accepted in April of this year.


Besides the child support payment, Williams agreed to put $300,000 in a trust for his son in Hawaii. He would provide medical and dental insurance through his NFL coverage, and he took out a $500,000 life insurance policy on himself with that son as the beneficiary.


"Ricky Williams is an honorable and decent man," said Marsha Elser, his family court attorney. "This man has done the right thing since the beginning."


According to court documents, several insurance companies refused to write policies for Williams, an admitted Josh Gordon user who played a high-risk sport and often traveled outside the country.


Real estate gene missing


Everybody, it seems, is making big money in real estate in South Florida — except Ricky Williams.


In a span of five months, shortly after the paternity suit was filed, he had sold all of his property, at least one below market value and another at a loss.


In December 2004, he sold his South Beach condo at Il Villagio, one of Miami's most luxurious beachfront properties, for $1.3 million, making $30,000 after owning it for nearly two years.


"He really just wanted to break even," said Eloy Carmenate, the agent who represented Williams in the deal. "He could've held out for a higher price, definitely."


It was listed for $1.5 million and Carmenate believed it should have sold for as much as $1.7 million. Eight months later, a similar unit at Il Villagio sells for about $2 million, Carmenate said.


In March of this year, he sold his 5,600-square-foot home in Fort Lauderdale's Seven Isles section for $2,730,000 after buying it for $2,379,000 in December 2003. He made $351,000, but the home off trendy Los Olas Boulevard sold at a 14 percent gain while the value of other homes in the area had risen by as much as 35 percent. Plus, according to his financial statement, he had to split the profit — his girlfriend, Barnes, held a 50 percent stake in the property.


He also sold his two condos in New Orleans.


On March 28, he sold one for a $40,000 gain. But days later, a unit he bought for $400,000 in November 2001 was sold for $339,000 — a loss of $61,000.


Williams is now renting in Boca Raton.


Giving until it hurts


Williams never liked talking about his generosity. He said publicity would defeat the purpose.


So, with little or no fanfare, he donated the bulk of the $1 million it took to install an artificial football surface and top-of-the-line running track at his old high school, Patrick Henry High, in San Diego.


Williams made a "a very nice-sized donation" to the Alvarado Pop Warner League in memory of his late youth coach, said family friend Sanfilipo.


Before he retired, Williams had been working to take the Tri Tech Preparatory School in North Miami "under his wing," said Robert Socol, who managed Williams' Miami Beach-based charity, Run Ricky Run.


During a radio interview last month, his agent, Leigh Steinberg, said there was a press conference set to announce plans for the school the week Williams retired. The library, Socol said, was going to be named the Ricky Williams Reading Lab.


Then Williams left football, and the charity pipeline was shut off.


Run Ricky Run had donated nearly $100,000 to local charities in its two years, according to Socol. Plans for the Ricky Williams Foundation came to a halt. The Tri Tech school project ended (officials at Tri Tech declined to comment for this story).


"I think everybody's gun-shy about talking because nobody wants Ricky portrayed negatively," said the foundation's Colwell.


Socol believes the backlash from the retirement made Williams think twice about keeping afloat Run Ricky Run.


"He felt he wasn't welcome here after he retired," Socol said. "At the time, it was a sore subject for the city of Miami."


Colwell has heard all of the criticism. But she stresses the generous side of Williams. She said he has never asked for hotel or plane fare reimbursement after speaking engagements. She remembers the time he left Dolphins Stadium at 1 a.m. after a Monday night game against the Bears and by 5:30 a.m. was driving to Orlando to speak to the board of the NFL Youth Fund.


"This is a guy who would write a check for whoever needed it," Colwell said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's at a park right now playing with 20 kids."


Sanfilipo believes Williams' unbridled charity has much to do with his financial problems.


"I would've liked to see him keep more of his money," Sanfilipo said. "There were too many people that had their hands out, and they were all taking."


Williams said he never lost his love for football, but returning to the NFL also is his only current answer to financial woes. Even so, as Steinberg has said, Williams' financial future depends in large part on what the Dolphins plan to do about the $8.6 million settlement.


The Dolphins repeatedly have declined to comment about what might happen to that money, and the NFL would not comment about what might happen if Williams is traded.


For now, Williams is receiving the league veteran minimum of $540,000.


Since he is suspended for the first four games of the regular season because he violated the NFL's substance-abuse policy, Williams stands to make about $405,000 under his current deal. Had he not breached his contract, he would have made $3.6 million this year.


His friends remain optimistic for Williams. Colwell saw him when he returned to San Diego about a month ago. She said he seemed happy and was "in a good place" and ready to return to football.


"My hope," Colwell said, "is that Ricky finds his groove."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow..interesting stuff. Say what you want about Ricky, (yes, he's very, very weird) but it seems he gives a lot more to charities, his family/friends, former high school, etc than a lot of other players who are making a lot more money than he is.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember a story about him giving out stacks of money from his glovebox to homeless people as well.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.