Not true. In 1983, Courrege's firm sued Manley for unpaid fees and for nonpayment on a Mercedes that he had bought on a loan arranged by Courrege. Manley didn't like the car being in someone else's name and didn't like how much he owed on it. "I paid $17,500 for it," Manley later testified in an arbitration hearing involving a dispute with another agent, "...because it was in pretty bad shape.... I just said the heck with it, I'm not going to pay any more." Manley and Courrege's firm reached a settlement.
Manley was also sued for unpaid fees by Courrege's replacement, Washington lawyer Jim Kiles, who says Manley owes him "$30,000 to $40,000." The suit ended up in arbitration, and Kiles says he ultimately decided not to pursue the matter. Manley wasn't sued by Kiles's successor, Washington lawyer Richard Bennett, but Bennett didn't fare much better. Last year he told Manley what he thought was a "fair" fee for negotiating Manley's most recent contract—a beauty that paid Manley $350,000 in incentives alone last year—but Manley had a different idea of what constituted a fair fee. "If he really deserved more [than I paid him], how come he took the check I gave him?" says Manley.
Says Bennett, who is no longer Manley's agent, "Whatever Dexter says."
Manley's view of agents is that they're out to do him in. "Dexter always thinks people are out to get him," says one Redskins executive. After the '82 season, according to Kiles, Manley ran into Kiles's office and showed him three checks—one for making the playoffs, one for the Super Bowl and one for bonus incentives. "What do I do with these?" he asked.
"I'll open a special account for them," said Kiles. A week later, Manley closed the account. He feared Kiles would take the money because the statements were being mailed to Kiles's office rather than to himself. Kiles says the idea that he would have ripped off Manley is preposterous. Don 't trust anybody.
That was an appropriate ending for a relationship that began in November 1982, when Manley called on Kiles's partner, John McDermott, to help him out of a jam. Manley was charged with impersonating an officer and with altering the temporary plates on his Mercedes. He had been a deputy sheriff for the Fairfax County, Va., detention center in the off-season, and when a policeman pulled him over, he noticed a badge in Manley's wallet identifying him as such. The cop then let him go. Upon returning to the station, the officer discovered Manley had resigned as a deputy five months earlier. The charge for impersonating an officer was later dropped. For tampering with his tags he was fined $100. Manley's explanation: "Courrege told me to alter the plates until he could get me the title. So I did."
Says Courrege, "I never told him to alter the plates. That's ridiculous. I told him to pay the money on his car so he could get his plates."
Manley has also been pursued by Texaco to pay $4,480 in credit-card debt, sued by a landlord for unpaid property damage, and ordered to pay $10,400 in back child support, plus $800 a month, to Stephayne for their son, Derrick, now 10. "Dexter Manley's idea of obligation and the rest of the world's idea of obligation are two different things," says Kiles.
"I've seen too many people turn on me," says Manley. How could he have known that the next person to turn on him would be himself?
When you're famous the way Manley is famous, the valet always brings your car first, you never wait for a table and you never, ever buy a drink. As your star shines brighter and brighter, the drinks come more and more frequently. Gentleman at the bar says he's a big fan. Manley didn't become an every-nighter as much as a binger. He binged once or twice a month, tops, but when he binged, he binged hard.