Shaquille O’Neal sues for invasion of privacy

For many people starting out in the entertainment industry, there is nothing that is desired more than attention from the public at large. For actors, singers and even athletes, notoriety can lead to endorsement contracts or bigger and better opportunities. That desire for celebrity also has a flip side. Once an entertainer has gained a certain level of notoriety they may find that privacy becomes one of their most valuable assets.

Shaquille O’Neal’s talent on the basketball court has made him a household name ever since he was a star player for LSU. He successfully leveraged his performance on the court into an impressive entertainment career in film, endorsements, and music recording. O’Neal’s celebrity seems to have proven a tempting target. O’Neal recently filed a lawsuit accusing an information technology worker he hired of stealing and selling his personal emails.

The lawsuit claims that O’Neal paid the IT professional up to $150 dollars an hour to set up a personal internet domain. O’Neal claims that the IT person retained access to the domain and used that access to obtain private emails which were then sold to various internet sites which made them public.

The lawsuit filed by O’Neal seeks unspecified damages along with an injunction to stop further dissemination of the emails and a return of all the emails that were stolen.

With so many people out there just waiting to take advantage of athletes and entertainers for their own personal gain, it is important to be vigilant in all your business dealing. This can apparently include something seemingly as innocuous as who you choose to set up your internet domain.

Source: Washington Post “Shaq sues former IT employee over selling of NBA great’s personal emails,” Nov. 3, 2011