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Shaquille O’Neal and Business Associate Sued for Alleged Non-Payment by Former Production Company Employee


A former employee of Shaquille O’Neal has sued him for alleged non-payment of funds and breach of contract.

via: Daily Mail

O’Neal, 51, is a four-time NBA champion and former MVP who enjoyed a wildly successful career with the Orlando Magic, LA Lakers and Miami Heat among other teams.

Now an analyst for TNT’s coverage of the NBA, the Hall of Famer and his Jersey Legends Productions company are being sued over claims a man was cheated out of money promised to him.

The complaint, filed by Donnie Wilson in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, accuses O’Neal, Jersey Legend Productions and the production company’s co-founder Michael Parris of breach of contract and labor code violations.

It’s also alleged they violated a verbal agreement that was said to have been ‘legally binding’.

Wilson’s attorney, Ron Zambrano, issued a strong statement when announcing the lawsuit – even mentioning accusations that O’Neal spent months purposefully avoiding getting served in the FTX class-action suit.

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O’Neal tried to distance himself from the crypto giant at the time, alleging he was just a ‘paid spokesperson’.

Zambrano said: ‘Shaquille O’Neal certainly can come across as everyone’s best friend, just a big jovial guy — apparently until he owes you money.

‘He hid from attorneys for months trying to serve him in a class-action lawsuit over the bankrupt FTX crypto exchange and his endorsements of the company and now he’s basically doing the same with Mr. Wilson, hiding from his financial obligations.

‘It’s just shameful behavior by a celebrity of his status.’

Zambrano’s press release claimed Wilson worked as O’Neal’s Community Relations Director for 10 years between 1996-2006.

He eventually left the role in a bid to become a playwright before Parris hired Wilson to work for their production company in 2019.

Despite harboring concerns that Parris would follow through, Wilson became the company’s head of creative.

It was at this point it’s alleged Parris made a verbal agreement to make Wilson an official partner of the company with an 18 per cent ownership stake.

During his time in the role, Wilson contributed to the company’s Academy award-winning ‘Queen of Basketball’ documentary and animated short film ‘HeadNoise’ – which was narrated by O’Neal.

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Although he was given an executive produce credit for ‘Queen of Basketball’, Wilson claims he was never compensated for his work at Jersey Legends.

‘Queen of Basketball’ tells the story of Lusia ‘Lucy’ Harris-Stewart, who won three national titles at a rural Mississippi college, scored the first basket in women’s Olympic history and was the first and only woman to be drafted into the NBA.

The lawsuit claims: ‘During the production of these works, [Wilson] worked with O’Neal.

‘Parris told [Wilson] that O’Neal knew Plaintiff was neither getting paid and was still not getting any formal recognition of his status as part-owner of Jersey Legends.

‘Per Parris, O’Neal knew [Wilson] was going to be made part owner and would be taken care of in the end.’

It’s claimed Wilson tried to get O’Neal and Paris to sign a contract in 2022 but neither did so.

The production company was sold last year but Wilson has still not received ‘a dime’.

In a statement, Wilson said: ‘This whole ordeal has left me reeling. It’s been a breach of trust that has shattered my faith in fairness.

‘Beyond the money owed, it’s the personal aspect that cuts the deepest.

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‘Being considered family by Shaquille’s loved ones, particularly Michael Parris’ family, makes this betrayal feel like a sharp slap in the face. I feel deeply disappointed and let down.’

DailyMail.com has attempted to contact O’Neal for comment.



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