Shaq Responds to Child Porn Lawsuit: "Complete and Utter Fabrication"

Categories: Crime, Sports
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Yesterday, news broke of a bizarre lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade court that alleged amongst other wrongdoings Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal hatched a plan to plant child porn on a former employee's computer and use his law enforcement connections to have the man arrested. Today Shaq's representatives have released a statement about the matter calling the basis of the suit a "complete and utter fabrication," and said that the man behind the suit tried to extort $12 million from his former boss.

Shawn Darling filed the suit, and worked for Shaq as a personal IT man dating back to his days playing for the Miami Heat. The suit claims that Darling has knowledge of numerous alleged affairs, and that O'Neal was desperate to get him out of the way.

Shaq's representatives deny Darling's claims, and classify him as a desperate ex-con.

"Shawn Darling, a computer consultant engaged by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal to install and service a home theater and then service personal computer equipment, copied without permission thousands of emails and communications from Mr. O'Neal," reads the statement.

"Darling, an ex-convict with a long criminal record that he failed to disclose and hid from Mr. O'Neal, has demanded $12 million in exchange for not releasing Mr. O'Neal's personal and confidential emails and communications. When Mr. O'Neal refused to be extorted, Darling filed a lawsuit claiming 'invasion of privacy and emotional distress.'"

The statement also claims that back in 1999 Darling was sentence to 32 months in a Wisconsin jail for bank fraud and misuse of social security numbers. Darling also has a lengthy list of run-ins with the law in the Chicago area.

O'Neal has retained Miami attorney Benjamine Reid to handle the case. Raid calls the suit a "complete and utter fabrication," claims all copying of Shaq's emails was unauthorized, and says its "another unfortunate incident of people targeting celebrities in search of a big pay day."

Shaq's side of the story certainly sounds more credible, but remember folks, Miami is a sunny place for shady people. So before you hire someone that will have access to your personal e-mails it might be best to do a background check first.

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