This gets pretty complicated, so sit tight. But we will say: It involves Shaquille O'Neal allegedly having a sex tape he made with multiple women while married to Shaunie (though she could probably care less now), and allegedly having ties with a South L.A. gang called the Main Street Mafia Crips. In other words, Shaq may not be the gentle giant we always thought him to be. (Big black baby trophy's all yours, Lamar!)
Based on court documents, the Los Angeles Times reports that Ladell Rowles, the mafia's alleged leader, is accused of kidnapping Robert Ross, a former member of the gang, after the 2008 Grammies. Both Rowles and Ross can be tracked back to Shaq, says TMZ:
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Ladell Rowles — a member of the Main Street Mafia Crip Gang in L.A. who is friends with Shaq — along with 6 other members went on a search and destroy mission in L.A. on February 11, 2008. They believed a man named Robert Ross had the sex tape and they tried getting it back with the help of a gun or two. …
Ross has a history with Shaq. Shaq and his business manager, Mark Stevens, have a record label and allegedly told Ross they would give him a 50% cut in any artists he brought to them. Ross claims he delivered Ray J to Shaq but got cut out of the deal.
Ray J? Really? Maybe Ross should have taken some tips on how to properly distribute a sex tape.
According to TMZ, the police report says seven Crips jumped Ross (who was riding in a Rolls Royce Phantom) at Pink Dot on the Sunset Strip. There, they allegedly instructed him, at gunpoint, to drive to Rowles' place in South Central.
Upon arrival, the Crips reportedly demanded Ross turn over the sex tape. When he said it was at home, story goes, they took his Rolex, various bling and $15,000 in cash — you know, chump collateral. In the end, though, no sex tape was exchanged.
The weird part is that, after a reported interview with Shaq, the LAPD has chosen not to involve the basketball megastar, though he's directly linked to multiple elements of the sex-tape mess. (For one, why would the Crips care about protecting his junk?) The Times writes: “Prosecutors stress that they have no evidence that a sex tape exists and said O'Neal is not involved in the case.”
TMZ isn't sure the sex tape currently exists, either, but seems pretty positive it did at one time:
Ross told Shaq a “security camera” captured the action and it was all on tape. But Ross told cops the security camera recycles periodically and the video no longer exists.
And there's another twist. Around the time Shaq and Ross had their falling out, Shaunie separated from Shaq and Ross claims he began having an affair with her. Ross claims Shaq hired a private investigator to tail Shaunie and the P.I. caught the two together.
Oh, NBA. Seems like every day you inch further into the gutter. Remember the days when ballers got their kicks elevator-eyeing Miss Piggy?