Relax, Shaq didn’t hire a gang to kidnap a guy in order to prevent a sex tape from being released. Wait. Maybe he did. But the court today said that the statute of limitations ran out on the claim and so we won’t be hearing any more about the story. Still, what an (unproven) story it is!

The Hollywood Reporter states that Shaquille O’Neal and Robert Ross allegedly made an agreement in 2007, that Ross would bring talent to Shaq’s record label, in exchange for half the profits. When talent that Ross brought, including Ray J, became profitable, Shaq refused to pay him his cut. Needless to say their business relationship was over then.

But then Ross started on a road that looks a little like blackmail. He told Shaq he had a tape of the basketball star having sex with a mistress, taken without his knowledge by security cameras in Ross’s house. All Shaq had to do to get the tape back was pay Ross his cut. Successful blackmail scenario, right? Well the key is that it's blackmail, so it’s not exactly a legitimate way to negotiate. Instead of accepting the deal, Ross says that Shaq hired a gang – the Main Street Mafia Crips – to kidnap him in order to get the tape back. The kidnappers were said to be arrested, and Shaq apparently was interviewed by the police, but nothing more came out of it.

That is until this lawsuit, where Ross made all of these wild allegations about the Big Artistotle. Naturally, Shaq’s lawyers questioned Ross’s credibility, but then argued that the statute of limitations had run out anyway. So it didn’t matter! Ross waited too long to bring his claim. Today the judge agreed, and so Ross is out of luck.

In all seriousness though, while limitation periods may seem a bit like they are a technicality, they weed out a lot of unnecessary lawsuits. The thinking behind them is that if you really were wronged, you’d take action as soon as possible. You wouldn’t wait years to get in front of a judge. Unfortunately for Shaq, the dismissal of the case is public, so his name is still attached to these allegations even if they’ve never been proven. How will he ever cope? Oh wait, he’s Shaquille O’Neal – he’ll get by.

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