Beloved Basketball Hall of Famer and television personality Shaquille O’Neal is accused of allegedly hiding inside his home to avoid being treated amid a class action lawsuit against FTX sponsors.
O’Neal is one of several high-profile celebrities, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and Steph Curry, listed as defendants in a class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed last November by FTX retail investor Edwin Garrison, who claims he opened an account with the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange after “being exposed” to celebrity endorsements and their alleged “misrepresentations and omissions.” .
According to Garrison’s attorneys, all of the defendants except O’Neal have been notified, as the NBA legend has allegedly been hiding out at his Texas home while processors arrive at his facility.
“We have gone to great lengths (4 different utility companies) trying to get all of you to receive our lawsuit,” Garrison’s attorneys, David Boies and Adam Moskowitz, wrote in an email to the defendants Tuesday. by Forbes.
The NBA legend was a ‘paid spokesperson’ for the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange
Retired QB Tom Brady and ex-wife Gisele Bundchen promoted FTX during their marriage
“However, only one has chosen to evade the service, to prolong these proceedings, or to try to avoid responding to these allegations.”
“It’s really amazing what steps you’ve taken to bypass our whistleblowing service,” Moskowitz told Forbes via email.
“The irony is that the facts admitted against him are probably the worst against any of the FTX brand ambassadors.”
The email sent to the FTX defendants says that Garrison’s attorneys contacted O’Neal’s last known trial attorney to no avail. Boies and Moskowitz allege that the eight-foot man is “actively evading service, refusing to open the door to his house when approached by our process servers.”
Moskowitz also accused O’Neal of being deceitful in commercialso you could earn ‘millions of dollars’ as a result.
O’Neal hosted a Super Bowl party at Shaq’s Fun House in association with FTX in February 2022, prior to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.
FTX was a high-profile cryptocurrency exchange that made big inroads among investors, thanks to celebrity endorsements. On November 11, he filed for bankruptcy.
Shaquille O’Neal Hosted a Super Bowl Party, ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ in 2022, Presented by FTX
The following month, O’Neal said CNBC was simply a ‘paid spokesperson’.
“A lot of people think I’m involved, but I was just a paid spokesperson for a commercial,” O’Neal said.
In September 2021, speaking about cryptocurrency for CNBC Make It, O’Neal commented: “I don’t get it, so I’ll probably stay away until I fully understand what it is… From my experience, it’s too good to be true. ‘
In a presentation to creditors released publicly on Thursday, the auditors who steered FTX through bankruptcy said they had identified just $2.8 billion in assets out of the $11.6 billion owed to its clients. accounts.
Other defendants included in the lawsuit are Golden State Warriors tennis player Naomi Osaka, Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem, former MLB star David Ortiz, LA Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, Jacksonville quarterback Jaguars Trevor Lawrence, comedian Larry David, businessman Kevin O’Leary and FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
The lawsuit argues that the exchange’s interest-bearing accounts were technically a security, which required its backers to publish the details of their FTX compensation.
“They have never disclosed the nature, scope and amount of the compensation they personally received in exchange for the promotion,” the complaint alleges.
A response from the defendants is expected by April 14.
Both Brady and Stephen Curry signed endorsement deals with Bankman-Fried’s FTX
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried onstage with Gisele Bundchen at a conference during 2022
Tennis star Naomi Osaka also signed a deal with FTX before the cryptocurrency exchange went bankrupt.