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How Former RB Clinton Portis Plotted To Murder The Men Who Swindled Him Out of $43 Million
The last two years have been tough for former NFL running back Clinton Portis, who filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and reportedly owed his own mother $500K while being $5M in debt.
Here’s a list of his many debts back then:
Mortgage ‘deficiencies’: $1,223,000
Reporter Nischelle Turner: $500,000
His mother Rhonnel Hearn: $500,000
Domestic support payment: $412,000
Internal Revenue Service: $390,000 (disputed)
Bank of America: $162,000
MGM Grand: $287,000
Cars including BMW, Audi and Dodge Ram: $175,000
Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa: $170,000
Law Offices: $80,000
Verizon Wireless: $899
His lifestyle combined with people close to him stealing money from him almost drove Portis to commit murder. He recently explained it all to Sports Illustrated in an absolute bizarre story.
Fortune pilfered, Clinton Portis contemplated revenge under the veil of darkness. On a handful of late nights and early mornings in 2013 he lurked in his car near a Washington, D.C.–area office building, pistol at his side, and waited for one of several men who had managed a large chunk of the $43.1 million he earned with his 2,230 carries over nine NFL seasons.
The hucksters he deemed most responsible ignored his calls. None were bound for jail. Their coffers were dry; a lawsuit seemed pointless. Once his helplessness gave way to rage, Portis lusted for a confrontation. He would meet this betrayer not with pleas or demands, or even blows delivered by thick fists attached to thick forearms. Bullets, he thought, were his sole means of balancing the scale.
“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis says. “It was kill.”
It wasn’t just the financial advisors that caused Portis to go broke, it was his lifestyle that did him in as well.
Portis says that sex, not drugs or alcohol, provided the salve he needed after Taylor’s death. He took lavish, impromptu trips overseas, sometimes with women he hardly knew, sometimes three or four at a time.
He flaunted his various houses (how many? “A lot,” he says) on MTV and on the NFL Network, leading cameras past waterfalls, tanks of exotic fish, stripper poles, rows of designer suits and an armada of cars with gargantuan rims. As Portis’s fortune grew, so seemingly did its gravity, pulling more properties, luxuries and hangers-on into his orbit. Former teammates and friends in the league, even those of comparable means, dared not try to keep pace. “Portis was on a different level,” says former Washington teammate Santana Moss, who himself once owned 11 vehicles. “He didn’t think about tomorrow.”
In the end, Portis never could work up the nerve to kill his financial advisers.
Portis never pulled his gun because he couldn’t put down his phone. The voice on the other line belonged to a television producer he had met when he was auditioning for a reality show as his football career reached its end; her training as a family therapist spurred him to stay in touch as his life came unmoored. Several times she fielded calls from a man who had found bottom—sitting and waiting in the gloom, ready to upend his life and take someone else’s. “He was talking real crazy,” Portis’s friend says. “He was just so depressed.”
Even if the money had disappeared, she told him, the people who truly loved him wouldn’t. She begged him to turn his car around and go home to his mother in Gainesville, visit loved ones in Charlotte, see some friends in Miami. If he didn’t, his four boys would know him not as a charismatic former-NFL-star-turned-carpool-driver but as the man on the other side of a glass prison partition.
“You’ve already lost,” his friend told him, “but the loss you would sustain [by killing someone] would be greater.”