The Rams are leaving for London Sunday but may not get to take running back Eric Dickerson along, after all.
This possibility arose after the attorney for Rea Ann Silva said he will now let a Superior Court judge decide today whether Dickerson should be allowed a two-week continuance on his paternity suit hearing.
If a continuance is not granted, Dickerson would still be able to play in the London exhibition game against the Denver Broncos on Aug. 9; he would merely arrive later than the team.
Silva, who claims to be the star back's former fiancee, filed paternity action against Dickerson July 13 and is seeking $7,500 in monthly support for her unborn child.
The original court date was set for Aug. 4, at which time Dickerson is scheduled to be with teammates in England preparing for the exhibition.
Last week, Silva's attorney, Ronald Cooper, met with Dickerson's attorney, Frederick Glassman, and agreed to postpone the hearing until Dickerson returned from London.
But Cooper told a different story Wednesday, claiming that the continuance depended on Dickerson's paying Silva "$1,000 or $2,000" in support while he was away, money he says Dickerson has refused to pay.
Cooper said that Silva, who is five months pregnant, needs financial support because she lost her department store job 10 days ago, possibly because of adverse publicity surrounding the case.
Glassman, however, said that the subject of Dickerson paying Silva before any formal hearing was never discussed at the first meeting with Cooper. Glassman said Cooper called two days later, on July 24, and only then did he request money from Dickerson.
"He called on Friday and said that we've made the continuance conditional on your client paying mine some money," Glassman said.
Glassman said his client would possibly consider retroactive payments if it was so determined in court.
"But we're not even convinced of her needs," Glassman said of Silva. "We think $7,500 a month is way out of need."
Dickerson is paying all of Silva's medical bills, Glassman said.
After Wednesday's practice, Dickerson said he wouldn't pay Silva, even it means joining the team late in London.
"They want me to pay her money because she can't get work," Dickerson said. "That's the issue. I'm not going to do that. I'll stay. I'll miss the whole trip and not do that."
But Cooper said Dickerson's taking responsibility for the unborn child is not enough.
"I guess there's no way to convince him that if she doesn't eat, it might have an effect on the child," Cooper said.
In a related issue, Cooper claims that Dickerson paid Silva's July mortgage payment of $460, then stopped payment on the check after receiving Silva's payroll check of $230.
According to Dickerson, Silva was to pay him another $230 but after an argument over the issue, he stopped payment on his check.
"I pay no woman's mortgage," Dickerson said.
Kicker Mike Lansford signed a two-year contract Wednesday and attended practice. . . . Tackle Duval Love, who injured his ankle in Tuesday's practice, may be back by the end of the week, Coach John Robinson said. . . . Are you wondering what effect off-the-field distractions have had on Dickerson's performance? "None whatsoever," Robinson said. "He's one of the most reliable, dependable players I've ever been around. I think that's obvious." . . . Cornerback Eric Riley, a free agent from Florida State, underwent knee surgery for a partially torn cruciate ligament and will be out for the season.