Zion Williamson has found himself in a legal battle alongside his family.
ESPN reports the Pelicans power forward and his stepfather, Lee Anderson, and mother, Sharonda Sampson, have been sued by Ankr PBC — a blockchain-backed company — which claims that they failed to repay $1.8 million of a $2 million loan.
According to the filed civil lawsuit, back in September 2021, Ankr PBC gave the loan to Williamson and his family as they were looking to build a marketing relationship with the NBA star and onboard him as a spokesperson.
Anderson was allegedly involved in representing Williamson and requested $150,000 upfront to discuss the possibility of the California-based tech company forming a partnership with Williamson.
In addition, the filing claims Anderson said the loan was a pressing matter because “his family would suffer financial hardship, and Williamson would not enter into a business relationship with Ankr.”
“Based on Williamson’s statements to Ankr, Ankr reasonably believed that Anderson possessed the authority to negotiate business arrangements for Williamson,” the lawsuit stated, per the outlet.
It continued, “Anderson represented that the loan was urgently needed, as the family had taken on expensive investments including the purchase of certain real estate in New Orleans and could not meet their obligations due to the temporary suspension of payments from Williamson’s sponsorship deals resulting from an injury.”
In regard to Sampson, she is involved in the lawsuit as a defendant due to Ankr allegedly having wired the money for the loan to her account.
The loan agreement is said to have been under the condition that Williamson and his family would pay it back on Aug. 21, 2022, to which Anderson allegedly asked for payment extensions as well as gave a bounced check for $25,000.
By April 2023, Ankr and Anderson reached a forbearance agreement that stated that Ankr wouldn’t sue if it received $500,000 on April 25 and the remainder on July 6.
Then, Ankr said it received $500,000. However, $300,000 of the payment went toward covering interest from the delay — leaving $1.8 million for the family to repay and sparking the lawsuit.
Anderson hasn’t yet made a comment to the source regarding the lawsuit.