The kidnapping case against Shaquille O’Neal that centered on a non-existent sex tape has been dismissed by a Los Angeles judge. Police interviewed O’Neal but did not turn up any evidence he ordered any shakedown. The NBA star was not named in the criminal complaint.
The judge formally dismissed charges this morning against seven known gang members accused of kidnapping and pistol whipping a music producer in early 2008 who purportedly threatened O’Neal with release of compromising footage.
“We did not have the necessary confidence in the victim Robert Ross to proceed,” District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison told the Daily News.
A law enforcement source said one major red flag was an electronic message Ross allegedly sent to O’Neal’s ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal during the case that warned her it was time to “pay up.”
The source declined to elaborate on the possibility Shaunie O’Neal was being extorted by Ross.
The prosecution’s unusual move, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, was a surprise met with loud cheers from the courtroom audience early Tuesday.
The seven defendants, described as known Main Street Crips members, were charged earlier this year after Ross told authorities he was kidnapped Feb. 11, 2008, as retribution for his sex tape threat to O’Neal.
Ross earlier took the stand and said the seven gun-toting gangbangers boxed him in at a convenience store on the Sunset strip, commandeered his Rolls Royce Phantom, took him to a house in South Central, pistol whipped him, robbed him and demanded the purported tape.
He said the tape never existed, however, explaining on the stand that he fabricated its existence after a business dispute with the NBA superstar.
Ross was not in court this morning but has also filed a civil lawsuit against O’Neal and his business partner Mark Stevens, alleging the two were behind the attack.Stay Connected
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