NBA legend and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was allegedly hiding out in his mansion to avoid being served with a class-action lawsuit that was brought against him and other FTX endorsers.
There were many celebrities, including the NBA star, who promoted the cryptocurrency, encouraging investors to put down money that they would later lose in the form of millions.
O’Neal, along with other celebrities like Steph Curry, Gisele Bundchen, Larry David, Tom Brady, and Naomi Osaka, is named in a lawsuit filed by one of the investors, Edwin Garrison.
In the lawsuit, Garrison claimed that he lost everything in his cryptocurrency account when FTX failed. He said that he had only invested because of the endorsements from famous people.
Garrison’s legal team claims that, with the exception of O’Neal, all of the celebrities named in the suit have been served with the papers. People have noticed that he has been avoiding lawyers and have pointed out that the allegations made against him in the lawsuit are quite serious.
In an interview with Forbes, Adam Moskowitz, Garrison’s attorney, expressed his “astonishment” at the lengths to which O’Neal had gone to avoid being served with the complaint. Moskowitz claims that the basketball legend admitted that the evidence presented against him was the strongest of any FTX brand ambassador.
On Tuesday, March 7, the attorneys emailed the defendants, singling out O’Neal for his evasion tactics, saying that he was the only one who had chosen to evade being served, possibly to prolong the proceedings or to avoid responding to the allegations.
The NBA star was one of the public figures advocating for FTX last year, and he even held a Super Bowl party in Los Angeles in conjunction with the cryptocurrency firm.
The celebrity advocated for the brand online, particularly on Twitter, and even made an official FTX ambassador appearance back in June of last year. Many people were enticed by his commercial appearances to join what was being billed as the world’s premier cryptocurrency exchange.
After CEO Sam Bankman declared bankruptcy on November 11, FTX’s brief existence came to an end. As of December, he was in custody on fraud charges for allegedly swindling investors out of billions.
O’Neal has been trying to disassociate himself from FTX by claiming he was just a hired spokesperson for the company. The lawyers claim that the 7-foot, 1-inch man has been avoiding the process servers who have been knocking on his door.
The defendants have until April 14 to file a response to the lawsuit.
Shaq has now shown up! He tweeted on March 19 from his hospital bed after having hip replacement surgery.