Shaquille O’Neal is everywhere.
The NBA Hall of Famer has seemingly countless commercials and endorsements running on TV every day, and is a mainstay on TNT’s NBA coverage throughout the season. It’s hard to miss him.
Yet O’Neal has apparently been dodging lawyers representing FTX investors for months.
“In 30 years, I’ve never had to deal with this situation,” said Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer representing FTX investors, via the Wall Street Journal. “We are not going away.”
O’Neal is one of several celebrities and athletes who were named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by FTX investors after the cryptocurrency company collapsed. O’Neal — along with Tom Brady and his ex-wife Gisele Bündchen, comedian Larry David, tennis star Naomi Osaka and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, among others — appeared in commercials promoting the company. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in January and charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and more.
When it comes to O’Neal, however, lawyers apparently can’t seem to actually serve him properly — something that's generally required to start a lawsuit.
According to the Wall Street Journal, lawyers for the plaintiffs have tried and failed to serve O’Neal both at his home and the TNT studio repeatedly. At one point, they said they “tossed the legal papers at his fast-breaking SUV.”
O’Neal, however, claims he simply “drove past the strangers lurking outside his home” and insists he isn’t dodging anybody.
Attorneys filed papers in court describing how they have tried to serve O’Neal at his multiple homes and even at his former wife’s home. They asked a judge if they could serve O’Neal via direct messages on social media, but that was shut down. They even tweeted at him last month.
You’ve been running from us for 3 months & all other FTX celebrities have agreed to receive their complaints. Please have the courtesy & honor to simply allow our process servers tomorrow to deliver our legal complaint on your behalf, so you can defend your actions in this matter
— The Moskowitz Law Firm (@moskowitzesq) April 14, 2023
O’Neal’s legal team disputes these claims, and even asked a judge to dismiss the case against him — though that was denied on Monday.
“Mr. O’Neal has not evaded service by failing to be at the residences where Plaintiffs belatedly attempted service or by driving past strangers who approached his car,” the lawyers wrote, via the Wall Street Journal. “The Court should quash service and dismiss the claims against him.”
O’Neal is one of the most recognizable figures in the basketball world. He’ll be part of TNT’s coverage of the Eastern Conference finals starting on Wednesday night, too.
While he’s so far done a tremendous job of avoiding being properly served in the lawsuit against him, he likely can’t hide from it forever.