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07/03/2006: "Shaq's Dirty Little Secret"

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Shaq’s Dirty Little Secret
By Robert Littal
Email Robert Littal

Sports are defined by good guys and bad guys. The fans makes those divisions under the
heavily influence of the media. With the advent of the Internet, sports talk radio and 24-hour
sports coverage on cable power influence this at its highest point. A man can break his ankle
ignore all of his doctors orders, come back to help his team make it to the Super Bowl and still
be branded as selfish (see Terrell Owens). Meanwhile a teammate breaks the cardinal rule of
discussing another player’s contract to the media and is praised as being a great teammate
(see Brett Favre). The majority of fans are followers; they are sheep incapable of making their
own conclusions when it comes to celebrities. Their ignorance is blinded by the premise that
athletes and celebrities in general are somehow better than the common man or woman. They
allow people who are no more knowledgeable than themselves to influence their opinions. The
only difference between me and the person reading this is that my thoughts are published for
thousands to see.

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Too many fans make the mistake of thinking that since you see your favorite athlete on TV
everyday you know them personally, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Until they are exposed a
la Kobe Byrant you never know what your favorite athlete or celebrity is really about, which
brings me to Shaquille O’Neal. You will not read this anywhere else because the media loves
Shaq and does not want to bite the hand that feeds them. That is how the system works. It is
the reason you never heard about Michael Jordan’s womanizing and gambling problems. If you
were a local beat writer in Chicago you did not dare cross Jordan with anything negative cause
then your access would be cut off and you would soon be out of a job. Certain players are
protected like Jordan and Peyton Manning and those of that ilk. Shaq falls in that category and
for that reason you rarely hear anything negative in print or TV, but that does not mean there
are no skeletons in the closet.

I received a pre-released copy of a book by Karrine Steffans titled “Confessions of a Video
Vixen”. In this autobiography, Ms. Steffans recounts tales of her life as hip-hop video girl in the
late 90’s to the present time. Known in celebrity circles as “Superhead” (draw you own
conclusions) she proceeds in graphic details to describe a life filled with sex, drugs, and
alcohol with many of hip-hop and movie celebrities such as Fred Durst, Vin Diesel, Jay-Z, and
Dr. Dre. In the book there is a chapter titled “Mr. Big” and to my surprise, it is about Shaquille O’

By all accounts, Shaq is a good guy, but definitely not as clean cut as many suspect. There
have been rumors for years that Shaq has women stationed all over the country which he pays
for all of their expenses similar to they way Jordan did. Unlike Jordan though it has never been
written in print. If you believe Ms. Steffans account of things Shaq generosity is as big as he is.
Here are some excerpts from the book.

We had a mutual friend in John Salley who set us up on a blind date. My doorbell
rang and I answered the door. When I opened the door, I was floored. It was NBA
Superstar Shaquille O’Neal.

Who knew that John Salley was the new host of Blind Date, especially considering at the time
Shaq was to be married in the coming months. Ms. Steffans continues to speak on Shaq
generosity that first night as well as other things.

My Apartment was so empty that Shaq reached into his pocket and gave me a couple
of hundred dollars in cash. The next day, he arranged for ten thousand dollars to be
deposited into my bank account. Shaq was very up-front about how the relationship
would be.

“I won’t be able to come and see you a lot, so I’ll just write you checks to keep you
happy,” he said. He was charmingly self-effacing about his sexual prowess and
wanted to reduce my expectations. He essentially told me not to let his size fool me.

I would like you to ask yourself a question at this point. If you take out Shaq’s name and insert
Allen Iverson do you think this would be the first time you have heard of this? If this was Barry
Bonds instead of Shaq do you not think Pedro Gomez would not be reporting this on
Sportscenter? Ms Steffans continues to speak on how Shaq wanted his “women” to behave.

Shaq is known to be a very generous man who loves to take care of the people
around him, especially the women in his life as long as they lived by his rules.

He also demanded that I not go out at all or speak to anyone especially not about him.

According to Ms. Steffans the relationship with Shaq ended because she did not follow his
rules, but after some months and being down on her luck and getting ready to be kicked out of
her home she called Shaq for help.

I began to make phone calls to try to salvage what was left of my life. The first person
on my list was Shaq. He had been so generous when we were together, and all I
needed to keep the condo was two thousand dollars. I explained the situation, via
telephone, I then heard Shaq turn me down before I even finished my story.

A few things before I continue. I personally believe Ms. Steffans because being a part of the
music industry for a period of time, what she is saying is not that hard to believe since I have
seen with my own eyes these things happen. To be fair this is a person trying to sell books and
who has somewhat of a checkered past so you have to make your own personal determination
to believe what you are reading. Do not be naive, though, to the fact that these activities are
fairly normal in the entertainment industry.

Contrary to what you may believe that is not an article to degrade or embarrass Shaq. If
anything Shaq should be chastised for not teaching Kobe the proper way to keep side women.
The rule as they call it is that you sleep with women who know the game and are willing to keep
the mouth shut not random hotel clerks with emotional issues. It has always been my assertion
the 99.9% of athletes and entertainers cheat on their wives and girlfriend. The majority of
those wives and girlfriends know about it and don’t really care as long as they are being taken
care of (the .1% that doesn’t cheat is Doug Christie and that is only cause he wife doesn’t let
me out of his site).

This article is for Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Bobby Brown, and Allen Iverson’s of the world
who every move is scrutinized to the point that no matter what they say or what they do it is
perceived as wrong. While others have a “get out of jail free card” seemingly for life because of
their pedigree or importance to the media. What is more responsible journalism Steve McNair
getting a DUI, Marvin Harrison getting into a physical altercation at the Pro Bowl or T.O. trying
to re-do his contract? If you answered when did Steve McNair get a DUI or I did not hear
anything about Marvin Harrison at the Pro Bowl. You just proved my point.