Shaquille O’Neal has finally been served papers in a lawsuit over his role in promoting FTX after lawyers accused the former basketball star of hiding from them.
Alongside fellow high-profile endorsers such as Tom Brady and Larry David, O’Neal was named as a defendant in the suit filed last November in a Florida federal district court.
It alleges that the celebrities “actively participated” in FTX’s offer and sale of unregistered securities.
Earlier this month, lawyers at the Moskowitz Law Firm–which is representing investor Edwin Garrison in the class action–said they had made multiple attempts to serve O’Neal with papers in person over the past few months, but had been unsuccessful.
“Basically, the largest man is hiding from our lawsuit,” lawyer Adam Moskowitz told Decrypt.
Last week, tweets posted to the law firm’s account directly addressed O’Neal, claiming they had been standing outside the TNT studios in Atlanta all week in the hopes of hand-delivering the complaint, but had been prevented by security.
“You have been running from us for months & all other FTX celebrities have agreed to receive their complaints,” the law firm wrote.
An update posted late on Sunday night said that O’Neal had finally been served outside his house, with a record of the incident made on his own home security cameras.
With papers now served, the lawsuit will be able to proceed. Decrypt has contacted O’Neal’s publicist for comment.
‘Shaqtoshi’ and FTX’s celebrity partners
Dubbed “Shaqtoshi” by FTX, O’Neal said in an advertisement that he was “all in” on the exchange. But he later told CNBC he doesn’t understand crypto and will probably avoid it following the exchange’s collapse.
In a video posted on FTX’s account in June 2022, O’Neal said he was “excited to be partnering with FTX to help make crypto accessible for everyone. I’m all in. Are you?”
O’Neal was just one of a string of stars paid to endorse the brand, from fellow sports personalities like Steph Curry and Naomi Osaka to entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary.
Several of those named in the lawsuit last week filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that it was FTX, and not its celebrity endorsers, that enticed users to open “Yield Bearing Accounts” (YBAs), the type of account at the center of the complaint.
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