Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Did Shaquille O'Neal Order the Kidnapping of a Man Who Claimed to Have His Sex Tape?

It's going down! Seven members of the Main Street Mafia Crips gang have been charged with kidnapping and other crimes after they allegedly abducted a man who claimed he had a sex tape of former Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ladell Rowles, who's the leader of the Crips, is accused of directing members to kidnap, beat and rob Robert Ross. He was abducted by the gang members from inside a Bentley along the Sunset Strip on Feb. 11, the night of the 2008 Grammy Awards; the gang members took his Rolex, diamond chain and earrings and $15,000 in cash. But they were after something more valuable. According to prosecutors, the men were attempting to retrieve a tape showing Shaq, who was married to Shaunie O'Neal at the time, having sexual relations with other women. In 2009, Shaunie finally filed for divorce after he was jumping off with a slew of women -- one of those women even sued him for harassment; she claimed Shaq used other people to get at her, which is eerily similar to details of this case involving the gang members and the kidnapping. Now back to the sex tape. Robert told police he threatened to give the tape to Shaunie in an attempt to pressure them to give him the money he thought he was owed. (Shaq promised Robert 50% finders' fee for any artist he brought to Shaq's record label. When Robert brought singer Ray J to the pair's record label, the ish hit the fan.) TMZ says about the time of business dispute, Shaunie separated from Shaq and began to have an affair with Robert! He also claims Shaq hired a private investigator to tail Shaunie and the P.I. caught the two together. Sidebar: Prosecutors say they have no evidence that a sex tape exists and said Shaq is not involved in the case.


Update: Excerpts from Monday's preliminary hearing for the gang members accused of kidnapping, robbery, assault and conspiracy has surfaced. Robert testified that at one point he had a tape from his home security system of Shaq having sex with a woman, but it had been recorded over. Asked by a prosecutor if he really had such a video at the time of the attack, Ross replied, “It was over. It was gone.”

"He was at my house with some girl and it was on tape," Ross said.
"So did you really have a video of Shaq or had it already been recorded over?" Deputy Dist. Atty. Chun asked.

"It was over. It was gone," Ross responded.

Ross testified that O'Neal's name was brought up early on in the kidnapping by the second-in-command of the gang. Ross testified that James Harbin, a.k.a. "Wood," told him that the gang members had an AK-47, and ordered him to drive to the gang's leader's home in Southeast Los Angeles.

"And [Harbin] said he needed you to -- you needed to clear up some kind of issue?" Chun asked.

"Yes," Ross replied.

"With who?" the prosecutor asked.

"With Mark and Shaq," Ross said.

"And did defendant Harbin -- 'Wood' -- tell you what would happen to you if you didn't go?" Chun asked.

"He said, 'If we wanted to kill you, we can. You know how we get down,' " Ross said.

After he drove to the home of the gang's alleged shot-caller, Ladell Rowles, Ross said Rowles demanded the tape and cash while he and other gang members beat Ross.

Rowles "said Shaq and Mark know who the real boss is now and he asked me for the tape that I lied and said I had," Ross testified.

Ross' testimony was videotaped at the request of the prosecutor, who told the judge that given the nature of the gang, he feared for Ross' life. The proceedings were interrupted when Ross said someone in the audience appeared to mouth to him "You are dead." The judge ordered deputies to remove the man from the courtroom and question him.
Wow! It's only a matter of time now before someone starts talking and Shaq gets implicated in the kidnapping plot.

Update 2: Shaunie's talking. She told the folks over at TMZ that Robert is a "liar" and they never hooked up. She also says he offered to sell her the tape, but she turned him down because she wasn't interested.

source 1 | source 2 | source 3 | source 4
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