LAPD memo criticizes figure in Shaquille O'Neal kidnapping case
Los Angeles police records obtained by The Times raise questions about the credibility of the man who claims he was kidnapped, assaulted and robbed by members of the Main Street Crips gang after he claimed to have a sex tape of Shaquille O'Neal.
The memo suggests Robert Ross may have been attempting to extort money from O'Neal.
Ross, a music producer and onetime friend of the NBA legend, worked as an informant for a federal task force that was targeting the gang around 2006, according to a Los Angeles Police Department memo. An LAPD detective describes Ross as an "undesirable informant."
Ross has appeared to have a "personal vendetta" against gang members, causing concern for the task force, LAPD Det. Greg Kading wrote in the memo dated January 2010. The memo called into question the purported kidnapping of Ross, for which seven Main Street members are facing charges in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
"The investigation became convoluted when Ross claimed that the entire incident had been orchestrated by basketball player Shaquille [O'Neal]," Kading wrote. "It became apparent that Ross was attempting to extort money from [O'Neal]."
Mark Overland, an attorney who appeared on behalf of Ross during the preliminary hearing, said Wednesday that the LAPD memo was full of unsubstantiated allegations. He said Ross was never a paid informant for any agency, and that he only provided information as a victim in an earlier shooting case involving the Main Street Crips.
-- Victoria Kim and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Shaquille O'Neal announces his retirement from the NBA at his home in Windermere, Fla., last month. He denies any role in the kidnapping and assault alleged by Robert Ross. Credit: John Raoux / Associated Press