First we discover that our childhood hero is a giant horndog. (Say it ain't so, Kazaam!) Now we find out that Kardashian-news-leader TMZ pays for stories!?
In Shaquille O'Neal's personal emails, it seems nothing is holy. A judge sealed the stash of messages, which were filed in court in a potentially explosive local lawsuit, but we obtained them anyway.
In November 2009, Shaquille O'Neal was forwarded an email from actor/producer Anthony C. Hall -- Shaq's costar in Blue Chips -- which had been forwarded to him from a woman named Christina. We've redacted her information.
The email came from an apparent TMZ reporter. His email address is email@example.com, and he's identified only as Eric in the court filing. (His last name must have been redacted by Shaq's former IT guy, Shawn Darling, who filed the suit.)
The subject line: "$$$ for Shaq proof of pics and story."
I received pictures and was advised to contact Christina at this email address and the telephone number [redacted by us] I was told that Christina is the woman with Shaquille O'Neal in these pictures. TMZ is willing to pay you $3,500.00 for your written story & proof that you were involved with Shaquille O'Neal while he resided in Scottsdale, AZ. Please contact me by replying to this email and I will contact you directly via phone and give you details. Eric
Shaq then forwarded the email to his agent, Robert Parrish, and they had the following back-and-forth:
Shaq: Tmz is offering people money, read below
Parrish: We can't stop them from offering money. Every pic every story is for sale. We will have Dennis [Roach, Shaq's attorney] send the a letter. We got to be careful we don't want TMZ reporting that Shaq and his people are trying to start us from reporting "news". We know its bs but the will use anything to promote their site. They would love to have a "riff" with Shaq. Who is Christina we need to talk to her.Chief and I are having breakfast with you in the morning.
Shaq: They kno the emails are stolen, that's why they contacting , people. Thet are harassing, those emails are stolen
Parrish: I got a contact now with TMZ I'm talking with
Shaq: The point is we dnt want them do what they r doing to tiger, they got him wit steroids and all dat shit
Parrish: We are working hard on this. Although the stuff is stolen TMZ n the other website marketing themselves as gossip entertainment not credible new reporting ie CNN, I'm with you on this we are going to see how good our contact is
Shaq: Ok but in the meantime o boy needs to b put in jail, we have way to many law enforcement connections to let a criminal try to get over on mine o mine, we dnt need any distraction was we deal with our harvard guy, shoe line guy, retaraunt guy, real estate guy, and everything we are planning to do for the after basketball life. I promised u I would stay outta trouble, I kept my word, but cannot control somebody dtealing and selling emails. Come on now protect me from this.
I lost my family because of this guy, come on now
Parrish: Got it he will be stopped n pay for this
Dun dun dun. This email exchange is central to the lawsuit, in which rogue IT guy Darling -- who believes he was who Shaq was referring to with "boy needs to b put in jail" -- claims the superstar used connections made during stints as a reserve police officer to attempt to frame Darling with child porn on his computer.
Shaq's lawyers claim Darling "stole" thousands of emails, including the ones we've been publishing, after they were filed in court.
Implicated in the lawsuit: former Miami Beach Police Chief -- recently named to the top post in the Golden Beach department -- Donald Delucca. Is that whom Parris refers to as "Chief"?
It goes without saying we're hot on Christina's trail. We don't have $3,500 to offer, but we have some free New Times sunglasses.
Previously in ShaqLeaks:
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.