Shaquille O’Neal faces lawsuit to promote Astral’s NFT project
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is facing yet another crypto lawsuit. Only this time it concerns his own NFT project, Astrals.
O’Neal is one of the high-profile endorsers and promoters to find themselves in legal trouble. To hear O’Neal tell it, he has simply acted as a paid endorser for any product or service you can see on TV. How much merit do the latest claims have?
Shaquille O’Neal sued
An American basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal, is facing ongoing legal difficulties for his ties to the crypto industry. Although, as detailed in a May 23 Hollywood Reporter story, this time the former NBA star is in trouble for promoting his Astrals NFT.
Investor Daniel Harper filed a proposed class action lawsuit in Florida federal court on Tuesday. Harper accuses O’Neal of violating securities laws by selling unregistered Astrals tokens. He claims the former NBA star ignored potential regulatory concerns regarding the sale of unregistered crypto securities. O’Neal denies any wrongdoing.
Last year, O’Neal created his Astrals NFT project with his music manager, Brian Bayati, and his son, Myles O’Neal. The group has partnered with Solana Labs for the venture. The collection includes 10,000 “metaverse-ready” 3D avatars designed by artist Damien Guimoneau.
O’Neal Under Four
O’Neal is also under fire for his association with the disgraced FTX exchange. The complaint names the basketball star among several celebrity defendants. Others include NFL icon Tom Brady, tennis star Naomi Osaka and comedian Larry David.
The complaint says that by using the FTX platform, customers engaged in the buying and selling of “unregistered securities” regulated by the SEC. Consequently, O’Neal and other celebrity endorsers were required to disclose their financial dealings with FTX. The complaint also alleges that celebrity ambassadors such as O’Neal are “responsible for the many billions of dollars in damages they caused.”
O’Neal appeared in advertisements for FTX, but has tried to distance himself from the company by claiming he was only a paid spokesperson. Behaves in the same way as others who appear in advertisements for various products.
However, a dispute has arisen in the ongoing case over allegations that he has evaded attempts to serve him with legal papers. Opposing lawyers claim to have been trying to deliver the documents to O’Neal for months. The NBA star has denied these allegations.
FTX claims are “nonsense”
Last month, defense lawyers asked for the case to be dismissed. The defense claims that if the investors’ claim is true, it will mean that actors in any brokerage advertisement can be held responsible for selling any investment bought by a user through the brokerage house. Celebrities have rejected this notion as completely worthless.
O’Neal has been in the NFT game since as early as 2021. He caused a stir when he changed his Twitter profile picture to the Ethereum-based Creature World NFT. The resulting hype led to a remarkable 1164% increase in sales volume within 24 hours.
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