(NNPA)—Recently retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has denied rumors that he was involved in the 2008 beating of a man, who also alleged that he had copies of a sex tape involving the likely future Hall of Fame player.
During a trial for the seven gang members accused of beating him, Robert Ross testified in a Los Angeles courtroom June 13 that he threatened O’Neal with the release of the sex tape. Two weeks later, Ross was the victim of a vicious mugging.
According to reports, Ross said he was cornered by seven members of the Main Street Mafia Crips on the night of the 2008 Grammy Award ceremonies. Ross says they carjacked his Rolls Royce Phantom and took him to a house in South Central Los Angeles where they beat him and demanded the video.
According to Fox News, the men stole $15,000 in cash, a Rolex and other jewelry.
O’Neal told the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department he had no part in the altercation. However, while O’Neal admitted to being more than just an acquaintance with Ross, but said Ross’ repeated run-ins with law enforcement caused him to sever ties.
Ross also said he had an affair with O’Neal’s wife before the kidnapping and that the star center hired a private eye to investigate them.
Ross’ testimony is scheduled to continue on July 6.
O’Neal has not been charged in connection with the case.
The seven men on trial could receive life in prison if convicted, according to The New York Daily News
O’Neal retired this month after 19 seasons, several of them with the Los Angeles Lakers.
(Reprinted from the Afro American.)