Former NBA Superstar Shaq Sues Former Employee Over Stolen Emails

November 9, 2011

Legendary Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal has filed an employment lawsuit this month against a former information technology employee, for invasion of privacy and allegedly selling his personal emails on the open market--and therefore damaging his reputation.

According to the lawsuit, that our Santa Ana employment lawyers have been following, O'Neal hired Shawn Darling in 2007 and paid him around $150 per hour as an Information Technology specialist, to set up his audio and computer systems, keep his electronic communications, and to create and register a personal domain name for the former NBA player. O'Neal claims that he hired the man unaware of the fact that he had been convicted of a bank fraud felony.

While performing his tasks, Darling reportedly requested and got all of O'Neal's passwords, which he allegedly used outside of his job, in order to access Shaq's personal emails. Darling is being accused of selling O'Neal's personal information to other people as well as Internet sites, which then published articles that reportedly damaged Shaq's reputation.

In August of 2010, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Darling's attorney threatened O'Neal, with the continued use of the electronic email communications if he didn't fork over $12 million--to which Shaq reportedly refused. Darling then filed a lawsuit against O'Neal, accusing him of being the computer hacker--by hacking into voicemails, trying to frame Darling for a criminal offense, and trying to erase digital evidence of affairs.

Shaq returned with a counterattack in this new employment lawsuit, claiming that Darling violated statutes that prohibit the interception of electronic communications, disclosed private facts about Shaq, breached fiduciary duty, and committed fraud against him. O'Neal is seeking an injunction barring Darling from providing the former basketball player's emails to anyone, as well as unspecified damages, plus the safe return of all private emails.

Prior to this lawsuit, Shaq recently won in court after another employee lawsuit was filed against him, by a former worker who tried to blackmail O'Neal over an alleged sex tape.

Whether you are an employee fighting for your rights, or an employer facing a lawsuit--our team of experienced Costa Mesa, California labor and employment lawyers and professionals can help. Contact our attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Shaq sues former IT employee over selling of NBA great's personal emails, November 3, 2011

Shaq sues ex-employee over emails, Associated Press, November 3, 2011

Shaq sues IT consultant for selling personal info, AOL Sporting News, November 6, 2011

Shaquille O'Neal Sues Former IT Guy Claiming Stolen Emails, The Hollywood Reporter, November 3, 2011

Related Web Resources:

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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