Producer: Shaquille O'Neal tape 'gone'

Updated: June 19, 2011, 12:42 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles music producer confirmed last week in a preliminary criminal hearing that at one point he had a tape from his home security system of Shaquille O'Neal having sex with a woman, but that it had been recorded over.

Asked by a prosecutor if he really had such a video at the time of an alleged attack and kidnapping, Robert Ross replied: "It was over. It was gone."

As previously reported in a sheriff's report, Ross testified that gang members kidnapped him in 2008 and told him the reason was an "issue" with O'Neal and his business partner.

O'Neal O'Neal and business partner Mark Stevens have denied involvement in statements to investigators. Neither O'Neal nor Stevens has been charged or named in the criminal complaint.

Excerpts from the Monday preliminary hearing for seven gang members accused of kidnapping, robbery, assault and conspiracy in the attack on Ross appeared early Sunday on the Los Angeles Times' website.

In the transcripts, Ross -- who has claimed the attack came because he said he had the sex tape featuring O'Neal -- testified that his kidnappers beat him and demanded a "videotape."

O'Neal and business partner Mark Stevens have denied involvement in statements to investigators. Neither O'Neal nor Stevens has been charged or named in the criminal complaint.

Attorney Nicholas Tonsich, who represented O'Neal and Stevens, did not immediately respond to a phone message left early Sunday morning by The Associated Press.

According to the sheriff's report, Ross told investigators he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Main Street Crips gang members in West Hollywood in February 2008 and taken to the home of the gang's alleged leader Ladell Rowles. He said the gang members beat him, stole $15,000 in cash and some jewelry.

He said another of the defendants, James Harbin, told him he needed to clear up an "issue" with O'Neal and Stevens, and threatened him.

Ross' testimony is scheduled to continue on July 6.

O'Neal retired this month after 19 seasons, several of them with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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