Wed, 25 Nov 2020

Court document alleges Zion's stepdad got $400K loan

Field Level Media
10 Jul 2020, 09:55 GMT+10

A sworn affidavit filed in federal court Thursday alleges Zion Williamson's stepfather solicited and received a $400,000 payment in October 2018, while the basketball star was a student at Duke, multiple outlets reported.

The affidavit was filed in Greensboro, N.C. by attorneys for Gina Ford, whois locked in a $100 million lawsuit with Williamson over whether the 20-year-old New Orleans Pelicans violated his contract with Ford when he signed with another agency in April 2019.

According to the reports, the affidavit comes from a California man named Donald Kreiss, who says he helped in the financial dealings between Lee Anderson -- Williamson's stepfather -- and Canadian marketing agent Slavko Duric.

Among the exhibits attached to motion containing the affidavit is a copy of an agreement dated Dec. 8, 2019, that appears to show both Anderson's and Williamson's signatures, and stating that the pair agreed to pay Duric's Maximum Management Group $500,000 "on or before Jan. 7, 2020" as repayment for a loan given by Duric to the family on Oct. 10, 2018.

Williamson's attorney, Jeffrey Klein, denied the allegations in an email to the Charlotte News Observer.

"The alleged 'agreements' and driver's license attached to these papers are fraudulent," Klein said in the email, per the News Observer, "and neither Mr. Williamson nor his family know these individuals nor had any dealings with them. We had previously alerted Ms. Ford's lawyers to both this fact and that we had previously reported the documents to law enforcement as forgeries, but they chose to go ahead with another frivolous filing anyway. This is a desperate and irresponsible attempt to smear Mr. Williamson at the very time he has the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional basketball."

Williamson signed with Ford's Miami-based Prime Sports Marketing agency in April 2019. A month later he signed with Creative Artists Agency to represent him in marketing deals and his NBA contract negotiations.

Ford claimed Williamson owed her $100 million for breaking their contract, leading Williamson to sue her on the grounds their contract was never valid as Ford was not registered as an agent in the state of North Carolina.

Ford countersued in Florida, stating North Carolina's law (the Uniform Athlete-Agent Act) does not apply because Williamson broke NCAA rules and should have never been granted eligibility to play at Duke, located in Durham, N.C.

That is where the alleged loan introduced in court Thursday comes into play.

Last month, the Florida court ruled the case in North Carolina should play out before Ford's countersuit in Florida moves forward.

--Field Level Media

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