Shaq is served. After three months of chasing Shaquille O’Neal, class action attorney serving the basketball star and former FTX promoter outside his Atlanta home on Sunday. O’Neal is one of more than a dozen celebrities and sports teams sued for promoting FTX, a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange. He once supported FTX so much that the company nicknamed him “Shaqtoshi,” a reference to Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged author of the Bitcoin white paper.
Lawyers have been looking for him for three months. O’Neal remained hidden in plain sight. He appears on TV daily, has his own podcast, and tours as “DJ Diesel”. Despite this, the process servers struggled to serve O’Neal with formal notice that he was the subject of a lawsuit.
On Sunday afternoon, attorneys served O’Neal at his home, and the exchange was caught on film. The lawsuit was filed by Edwin Garrison, an Oklahoma client of FTX, and is being handled by attorneys Adam Moskowitz and David Boies. The Block was the first to hear the news. “We just served Shaquille O’Neal privately outside his home with copies of our complaint at 4pm,” Moskowitz wrote by email. “We took Judge Moore’s instructions very seriously and are delighted to finally put an end to this ridiculous spectacle.”
Lawyers were so frantic to find O’Neal before Monday’s deadline that they petitioned the judge to allow them to serve him via Twitter, Instagram, and email. Musikitz’s company was forced to tweet him from outside TNT’s Atlanta studio, where O’Neal was a regular on “NBA on TNT.”
According to attorneys, the exchange between O’Neal and the proceedings server was recorded on camera, although it has not been disclosed. O’Neal did not respond to requests for an interview.
“His home video camera recorded our services, and we have made it clear that he may not destroy or delete this security footage,” Moskowitz added. “Mr. O’Neal will now be required to appear in federal court and explain to his millions of followers the false advertising campaign ‘FTX: I Am All In’.”
The lawsuit also names football player Tom Brady and “Seinfeld” creator Larry David as defendants. O’Neal, who Moskowitz claims has been “hiding and staying away from our process servers for the past three months,” is the final figure to be presented on Sunday.
The case was filed in the Southern District of Florida of the United States District Court.
The long battle to serve O’Neal was so dramatic that one of the process servers allegedly crashed after receiving a text message that appeared to threaten his wife, Beth Shaw.
“Shaq lives in the Bahamas, you moron, say hello to Beth Shaw,” the text message said, according to court documents. It is not known who sent the message. This case shows how difficult it is to serve a celebrity, especially one who is often in the public eye. According to court documents, O’Neal owns homes in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, California and the Bahamas. Lawyers were excited about his Texas address because O’Neal was developing a Big Chicken restaurant franchise there.
After FTX’s death, O’Neal had attempted to separate himself from the company. “I’m just a paid spokesperson for an ad,” admitted O’Neal when the company filed for bankruptcy. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to criminal fraud charges in federal court, while three other company officials pleaded guilty.