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Ice Cube files $1.2 billion lawsuit against Qatari investors over fledgling Big3 basketball league

April 9, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Ice Cube files $1.2 billion lawsuit against Qatari investors over fledgling Big3 basketball league

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Ice Cube has filed a lawsuit against three Persian Gulf investors for $1.2 billion, alleging that they were attempting to seize control of his fledgling Big3 basketball league even though broke agreements to fund it.

The lawsuit filed by the famous rapper and his talent-agent Jeff Kwatinetz claims that the investors, who are tied to the royal family of Qatar, paid only a third of their $20.5 million pledge to Big3, according to the New York Post.

That, in turn, has hindered efforts to advance the league’s 3-on-3 basketball games with former NBA players such as Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, and Amare Stoudemire “to the professional setting of NBA arenas and broadcast games,” the suit stated.

“These members and associates of the royal family made excuses for not paying, all of which is documented in texts and emails,” the suit filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court continued.

“The blame for their failure to fund millions they owed the BIG3 ran the gamut from their ‘sinuses,’ ‘hiking,’ it being a ‘long day bro,’ and the bad press regarding Qatar associations with funding terrorism,” the suit added.

The tense relationship approached a breaking point in February when Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, a member who once served as a Qatar diplomat to the United States, ordered that he be given a 25% ownership stake and a show of respect for the investor’s standing as “a royal family member.”

“You don’t know who I know in LA and what they’re capable of!” al-Rumaihi allegedly shouted after Kwatinetz responded by demanding money that was already owed. “You should think of your safety and the safety of your family.”

The lawsuit — which presents itself in two places as “a cautionary tale” against partnering with the Qatari funders — accused another defendant of attempting to defame Kwatinetz by alleging that he referred to the league’s African-American players “Rich Nigg*s.”

The defendant, Ayman Sabi, confessed that he didn’t personally hear Kwatinetz use the term, according to the suit — but alleged that a “former employee” did. The suit then quotes a text between Ice Cube and the former staffer, who wrote, “I never said that!!!”

Before they exposed themselves as deadbeats, the Qatari investors bragged about being associated with the league, bring employees to “St. Tropez and Ibiza, parties on yachts, expensive meals, use of exotic cars, invitations to parties at their mansions, and investments in personal business projects unrelated to the Big3.”

They even rented three mansions in Venice, Malibu and Beverly Hills — “so they could be near the Big3 founders.”

Big3’s co-founders including Ice Cube claim that the investors damaged their reputations, along with other damages, which add up to roughly $20 million per Big3 player — each of whom is given a share of the league’s overall profit.

The case for Big3 and its co-founders is being directed by Mark Geragos, who is also an investigator for the Big3. The Los Angeles attorney has also represented Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder and politician Gary Condit.

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