Shaquille O'Neal retired from the NBA this month. Considering the superstar's charisma and love of attention, anyone who has followed his career can't help but wonder: What will he do next?
Now, however, we find ourselves asking: What the heck did he do before? Specifically, on the night of February 11, 2008?
TMZ has broken what could be a mammoth story, detailing the arrest of seven gang members who are accused of kidnapping a man named Robert Ross on that date.
Law enforcement officials report that Ladell Rowles - a member of the Main Street Mafia Crip and a friend of O'Neal's - led the group, drawing guns on Ross outside a convenience store, ordering him to drive them to Rowles' house and then pistol whipping him until he turned over a sex tape of Shaquille and a mistress, allegedly filmed when O'Neal was married.The seven individuals have been arrested and charged with robbery (they supposedly stole $15,000 from Ross, along with other items) and kidnapping; they are currently sitting in jail, awaiting a hearing.
A sex tape was never recovered, but this is where it comes into play:
Ross and Shaq were business partners a few years ago. Sources say the former had a deal in place with the latter's record label in which he'd receive 50% of the cut from any artist he brought in. HOWEVER, Ross claims he delivered Ray J to the company and was screwed out of the deal. (Did you doubt that Ray J would play a role in any sex tape-related tale?)
Following their falling out, Ross told police that he threatened to release a video of Shaq and a mistress unless he received payment. Ross alleged the video was shot in his home, with a "security camera," after O'Neal used the residence to have a fling. But the camera recycles occasionally and the tape was erased.
There's actually one final twist to this story: After Shaunie O'Neal separated from Shaq, Ross says he began seeing her! Shaq reportedly used a private investigator to catch the pair together.
The LAPD actually did interview Shaq when the aforementioned gang members were arrested, but the district attorney did not list him as a suspect at the time.