NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is currently embroiled in a legal battle over his involvement in the Solana-based NFT project Astrals. The lawsuit, which has been updated to strengthen the case, alleges that O’Neal violated securities laws in his association with the project.
A district judge in Florida appointed lead plaintiffs, who have selected the Moskowitz firm to represent them. Managing partner Adam Moskowitz stated, “This is a very big advancement because it highlights that they run the show for all the investors and they have selected us to be class counsel.”
O’Neal’s Role in Astrals
Astrals is an NFT project built on the Solana blockchain, offering 10,000 unique 3D avatars. The project is community-driven and promises play-to-earn role-playing games, as outlined in its whitepaper.
The revised complaint in the lawsuit makes a compelling case regarding O’Neal’s involvement with Astrals. It alleges that O’Neal was in frequent contact with Astrals, indicating a significant personal commitment to the project. Additionally, it highlights the involvement of O’Neal’s business partner and son in Astrals, suggesting deeper connections than initially assumed.
What the Lawsuit Claims
The lawsuit asserts that O’Neal’s association with Astrals boosted the project’s value due to his celebrity status. However, it alleges that O’Neal disappeared from the Astrals community after the fall of FTX last November. His final post in the Astral Discord community featured a GIF from the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” with the phrase “I’m not [explicit] leaving.”
While the lawsuit currently does not name Astrals’ partners, Cypher Capital and MH Ventures, Moskowitz indicated that they would be served as the case progresses. He noted that third-party subpoenas may be issued when appropriate.
In July, O’Neal’s legal team sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the digital assets in question were intended for gamers, not investors. However, their motion was denied in August, with the court setting a deadline of September 29 for O’Neal to respond.
Shaquille O’Neal’s legal troubles regarding his involvement with Solana-based NFT project Astrals continue to unfold. The lawsuit alleges violations of securities laws and highlights O’Neal’s substantial personal connection to the project. As this case progresses, it remains a significant development in the world of NFTs and celebrity endorsements within the blockchain space.