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Model sues Shaquille O'Neal for harassment

January 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A woman claiming to be Shaq's former girlfriend filed a harassment lawsuit against the star, claiming he threatened her life when she thought she was pregnant. He is one of the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court, but Shaquille O'Neal might soon have a date in a court of law.

Tuesday, former model Vanessa Lopez and attorney Gloria Allred announced the filing of a lawsuit alleging that O'Neal has been harassing Lopez for the past three and a half months.

"She is determined to take Mr. O'Neal on and hold him accountable for his behavior in a courtroom where his size, money and power will not matter and where the final score will be determined by the scales of justice," said Allred.

Lopez claims to have had a romantic relationship with Shaq for five years beginning shortly after the Lakers traded O'Neal to Miami. Shaq married Shaunie O'Neal in December 2002, but Lopez said Shaq told her he had an "open marriage."

Last September, Lopez says she thought she might be pregnant with Shaq's child but that O'Neal said there was no way the baby could be his.

"Then when he apologized for his reactions, she told him it was over and that she wanted him to leave her alone. He said that he was not going to leave her alone and that he loved her. This lawsuit involves a pattern of harassment by Mr. O'Neal against Ms. Lopez," said Allred.

"I used to walk down the street not looking back over my shoulder. Now, I fear that someone is after me. At home, I'm constantly looking outside to see if there is a strange car parked. I want this to be over. I want to feel safe again," said Lopez.

Lopez has been linked to three other NBA players. Tuesday, she and her attorney did not take any questions and so far there has been no reaction from O'Neal.