I can believe Shaq has committed crimes before. Maybe an illegal download here or a nice jaywalking session there. Who knows? On nights when he was feeling a little crazy, maybe even a public urination.
But ordering murders?
Robert Ross, the same ex-gang member who claims that Shaq had him kidnapped in 2008, has filed a lawsuit that claims among other allegations that Shaq also masterminded a series of murders, according to TMZ.
In the suit, Ross alleges, “For many years O’Neal requested and directed [Ross] to perform many personal favors and directed him to perform various tasks including, but not limited to: ordering [Ross] to kill a member of the Downtown Gangster Crips who had disrespected O’Neal in front of his wife Shaunie.”
O’Neal is also accused of issuing “an order to kill a woman whom O’Neal had impregnated and paid for her abortion” and “an order to kill a renown record producer.”
Ross also alleges that O’Neal issued “an order to break an NBA player’s shooting arm.” …
Shaq’s lawyer, Michael J. Kump, tells TMZ … “The outlandish claims by Robert Ross in his civil complaint are pure fiction. Shaquille O’Neal befriended Mr. Ross in an attempt to help turn his life around. Sadly, Mr. Ross abused that friendship again and again.
Kump adds, “Shaquille’s commitment to law enforcement is well-known and documented. He will not dignify these defamanatory allegations with a response.”
Unbelievable? Yes. Shocking? Entirely. Any reason for us to listen to a word Robert Ross says? Umm, I don’t think so. This is a civil lawsuit brought by a former gang member reported solely by TMZ. In basketball speak, that’s like a trade rumor started by Jerome James’s third cousin and reported solely by Perez Hilton. Perhaps Ross is telling the truth, but the Ross-TMZ combination doesn’t exactly scream “reliable.”
I’ll still pay attention to this case because, well, SHAQ IS ACCUSED OF ORCHESTRATING MURDERS! But it sounds a lot like a former gang member trying to make some easy dough.
P.S. – The weirdest part of the story is Shaq’s friendship with Ross. When most NBA players want to help turn somebody’s life around, they donate time or money to a youth organization. They donate turkeys at Thanksgiving or gifts at Christmas. They don’t find a gangster and take him underneath their wing.