Shaquille O’Neal is allegedly attempting to duck and dodge an FTX lawsuit.
O’Neal originally partnered with FTX because he was looking “to help make crypto more accessible for everyone,” per Forbes. His appearances in commercials and events encouraged a wider audience to join what was once one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
However, in December 2022, Shaquille O’Neal seemed to begin distancing himself from FTX and the world of crypto.
“FTX, which was once one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges before it was defunct, is being sued for $11 billion,” AfroTech reported at the time. “While it has not been made clear if the celebrities named in the suit will be liable, O’Neal appears to be working to disassociate himself.”
“People know I’m very, very honest,” O’Neal told CNBC Make it. “I have nothing to hide. If I was heavily involved, I would be at the forefront saying, ‘Hey.’ But I was just a paid spokesperson.”
A team of lawyers representing the claimant, FTX retail investor Edwin Garrison, has worked to serve O’Neal, but they claim he is trying to avoid appearing in court.
“We have spent great efforts (4 different service companies) trying to get you all served with our Complaint,” Garrison’s lawyers David Boies and Adam Moskowitz wrote in an email to Forbes. “Only one, however, has chosen to evade service, in order to draw out these proceedings, or to otherwise attempt to avoid answering for these allegations.”
The lawyers allege that O’Neal has avoided being served court documents by hiding inside his house. They claim to have even taken additional measures such as reaching O’Neal’s last known litigation counsel.
“Over the past month, the 7-foot-1-inch tall athlete has allegedly hidden inside his home when process servers appeared at his door with court papers. The lawyers also claimed to have contacted O’Neal’s last known litigation counsel to no avail,” Forbes reports.
“It is really astonishing the measures he has gone to avoid service of our complaint,” Moskowitz said in an email, according to Forbes. “The irony is that the admitted facts against him are probably the worst against any of the FTX Brand Ambassadors.”
As AfroTech previously told you, O’Neal joins Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, and Naomi Osaka as defendants in the class action lawsuit, which states the celebrities’ endorsement of FTX was a “fraudulent scheme” and was “designed to take advantage of unsophisticated investors from across the country, who utilize mobile apps to make their investments.”