June 15, 2011 — -- A music promoter claims he was kidnapped and robbed by seven gang members who were allegedly on a mission to retrieve a sex tape involving former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal.
The alleged victim, Robert Ross, testified at a preliminary hearing this week that the gang members kidnapped him on the night of the Grammys in February 2008 and demanded that he return a reported sex tape featuring O'Neal.
O'Neal has not been named a defendant in the case. The spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said that the sex tape doesn't actually exist.
"It was a bluff," spokeswoman Jane Robison told ABC News. "It was part of a financial dispute" between Ross and O'Neal.
Attorney Vincent Oliver represents Eddie "Lil Wes" Hill, one of the gang members accused in the attack. Oliver said that the financial dispute was over artist Ray-J, a singer and rap star who is the brother of singer Brandy.
"Mr. Ross, who is the so called victim in this case...claims he introduced Ray J [to Mr. O'Neal's record label] and was to receive 50 percent of the proceeds," Oliver said.
When Ross didn't get the money he believed he was owed, he told O'Neal through a third party that he had a sex tape of the basketball player, Robison said. Two weeks later, Ross was allegedly robbed and kidnapped by members of the Main Street Mafia Crips Gang.
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Ross was once a member of the same gang, but was working as a music promoter at the time of the altercation, prosecutors said. He reportedly referred artists to O'Neal's record label.
Ladell Rowles allegedly led six other gang members in tracking Ross down in West Hollywood, Calif., on the night of the Grammys. Ross was allegedly forced at gunpoint to drive his Rolls Royce to Rowles' home. Rowles allegedly asked Ross for the sex tape and stole his diamond chain, Rolex watch, diamond earrings and $15,000 in cash, according to the criminal complaint.
Robison would not comment on whether investigators had interviewed O'Neal. Attempts to reach O'Neal were unsuccessful.
Ross testified that the he and O'Neal were friends and that the ball player used his home to bring women home for liaisons while he was still married to wife Shaunie O'Neal. Prosecutors claimed Monday that at one time Ross dated Shaunie O'Neal.
It's unclear if O'Neal has any connection to gang leader Rowles.