August 04, 2011
Since his retirement from the NBA earlier this summer, Shaquille O'Neal(notes) has taken in some great news (his ascension to Turner talking head on TNT's "Inside the NBA"), and some downright dodgy news (some accusations that we don't want to give credibility to by linking to nor commenting on). This latest accusation, sadly, seems much more likely.
O'Neal has been accused by a former confidante of purchasing and implementing GPS-styled tracking software for his former wife Shaunie's (pictured above and to the right) car. According to a buddy-gone-wrong, Shaq planted the devices to aid in tracking his former wife as she sought out any potential paramours still active in Shaq's social scene, to put it mildly.
In the shocking lawsuit, [Shawn] Darling alleges O'Neal began worrying that his wife, Shaunie, was meeting with Shaq's alleged mistress Vanessa Lopez, so he began spying on her using advanced tracking systems.
"On September 25, 2009 O'Neal purchased an Ultimate Bluetooth Mobile Phone Spy, and an Ultimate People Finder Software system," the lawsuit states.
"At some point O'Neal had his wife's car wired and hired 'Guidepoint,' a company to place a GPS tracking system on her car to track her movements and her whereabouts.
"On September 29, 2009 nervous that Vanessa Lopez had made good on her threat to meet with his wife, O'Neal had his henchmen, Derrick Mallet, check with 'Guidepoint,' to find out where his wife had been," the documents allege.
The lawsuit claims that Mallet informed O'Neal via email about his wife's movements.
In the suit, Darling goes on to claim many, many more unsavory things. I'll let you read the rest.
Jalopnik contends that part of the lawsuit was recently dismissed by a Miami judge, but I can't find anything online that supports that at present. Darling might be making this entire story up, but even if he has you have to admit the man has done a good job of checking off on all the things we know about Shaq (doesn't give up on grudges, knows technology, is close with law enforcement types, likes to fool around, et cetera) and taken advantage.
As for O'Neal? For some reason, you have to keep your nose a bit cleaner on basic cable than you do as a professional athlete. Good thing, Shaq, you'll have a while to get your particular house in order before you work your first game for TNT.