New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson can’t seem to catch a break this season as his family is being sued for close to $2 million.
California-based technology company Ankr PBC is taking the player, his mother, and stepfather to task for failing to pay $1.8 million of a $2 million loan they received in 2021.
Per NBA.com, a lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in New Orleans states that the loan was given to the family while the company was attempting to foster a marketing relationship with Williamson as they were keen on him becoming a spokesperson.
Ankr is a company that specializes in blockchain-related tech used in finance and data storage.
Their suit notes that Zion’s stepfather, Lee Anderson, represented the player as his business manager and demanded a payment of $150,000 upfront so they could enter negotiations with his stepson.
“Based on Williamson’s statements to Ankr, Ankr reasonably believed that Anderson possessed the authority to negotiate business arrangements for Williamson,” it reads.
The company claims to have also helped the player with community events and identified a physical trainer and chef for him, given his struggles with maintaining a healthy weight.
Zion’s mother, Sharonda, has also been named as a defendant because Ankr wired money to her account after Anderson allegedly told them his family needed an emergency loan to cover investment obligations.
“Anderson represented that the loan was urgently needed, as the family had taken on expensive investments including the purchase of certain real estate in New Orleans and could not meet their obligations due to the temporary suspension of payments from Williamson’s sponsorship deals resulting from an injury,” the lawsuit adds.
The company claims Anderson told them “his family would suffer financial hardship, and Williamson would not enter into a business relationship with Ankr,” if they couldn’t get the cash immediately.
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