Shaq: Accuser is ex-con, extortionist
Shaquille O'Neal has slammed allegations from an ex-employee who claims the NBA veteran hacked into his computer and destroyed email evidence, while also attempting to frame him for possessing child porn, the Boston Herald reported Thursday.
Shawn Darling, who worked as a personal computer consultant for O'Neal from 2007 to 2009, filed a suit against the Boston Celtics center for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and civil R.I.C.O. [a racketeering charge] on Aug. 3 in Miami-Dade County, Fla.
Darling claims O'Neal hacked into his voicemails and those belonging to an alleged mistress, Vanessa Lopez, because Darling had proof O'Neal had cheated on his wife with several women.
The suit also claims that O'Neal used law enforcement contacts to frame Darling for criminal offenses, including possessing child porn, and destroyed evidence he held relating to O'Neal's alleged extramarital affairs.
In a lengthy statement released by O'Neal's representatives Wednesday, O'Neal called Darling, who has an extensive criminal record, an "ex-con," adding the suit was a cash-grab by a man who had previously tried to extort him for $12 million by threatening to expose his personal communications and emails.
“Mr. O’Neal has made it crystal clear that he will never respond to these outrageous tactics,” O'Neal’s representatives said in a statement.
“As a result, Darling filed a lawsuit which seeks only to embarrass, harass and extract money from Mr. O’Neal.”
O’Neal’s attorney Benjamine Reid said the claims in the suit were a “complete and utter fabrication.”