The Ice Cube Big3 basketball league raises new allegations in a long-standing dispute over whether Qatar officials have attempted to sabotage the emerging rapper / actor's sports business.
On Thursday, Big3 Basketball, founded by O & # 39; Shea Jackson Sr., professionally known as Ice Cube, and his business partner Jeff Kwatinetz, sued the law firm Quinn Emanuel, alleging that their lawyers had intervened in Big3's legal affairs Obtaining information This was helpful for the opponents of Big3 – representatives of the royal family of Qatar.
Big3 is a fighting three-on-three league with teams made up of former NBA players. The lawsuit, which was filed with the New York State Court, alleges that the high-profile law firm in Los Angeles is involved in fraud, infringement, and fiduciary breach by acting at the young man's expense in the interests of its oil-rich clients Look out for basketball organization.
After nearly five months of legal work in 2018, Quinn gave Emanuel Big3 an invoice of $ 1.3 million, according to the lawsuit. It spanned a month of 17 company employees, including nine lawyers, performing various roles and the company's fees rising to nearly $ 778,000.
Quinn Emanuel denied the allegations. Big3 is aware of its customers in the Middle East and dismissed the matter as a dispute over an unpaid bill.
"Unfortunately, Big3 doesn't want to pay us for our work," said Quinn Emanuel in a statement. "After the company chased her to collect fees, Big3 waited until a week before the debt arbitration to file this imaginative lawsuit. Big3 has been kept fully informed of the company's other various representations and is only trying to avoid paying its bills. "
Big3 admits in the lawsuit that it has not paid what it calls "Quinn's bloated charges".
The fee dispute is expected to be arbitrated next week.
The reason Big3 did not pay according to the lawsuit was that Quinn Emanuel was not authorized to regulate his affairs and the company developed questionable legal strategies that Big3 said they violated their case.
"This action concerns an enormous betrayal by a law firm that pretended to act on behalf of Big3, its nominal client, when it actually served the interests of a far more lucrative client – the State of Qatar, its royal family, and its many state-owned companies – whose interests directly contradicted Big3, ”claimed the basketball league in the lawsuit.
The affair started more than three years ago when Big3's original commissioner, former NBA players Roger Mason, Ice Cube and Kwatinetz introduced the Qatari men who agreed to invest in the basketball league, which gave the upstart a big boost.
"The funds for the investment should come from Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, led by Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family," the lawsuit said.
But most of the money never came and Big3's relationship with the representatives of Qatar went bad.
The Qatari have reportedly considered starting their own league to compete with Big3.
Until March 2018, Ice Cube and Kwatinetz suspected Mason had been cheated. After seeing pictures of Mason celebrating with the Qatarians on social media, they released Mason "because of his infidelity," the lawsuit said.
Mason challenged his release, the lawsuit said. The Los Angeles-based law firm Geragos & Geragos handled the dispute on behalf of Big3, which also sued the Qatarians in the Los Angeles District Supreme Court earlier this year.
A Quinn Emanuel lawyer in New York called Geragos a few days after Mason was released and volunteered to help Big3 defend himself. Quinn Emanuel presented an engagement letter to a lawyer from Geragos, but neither Ice Cube nor Kwatinetz – the league's co-directors – signed the engagement letter in accordance with the lawsuit.
The suit claims that Quinn Emanuel would have "effectively acted as a spy for Qatar" for the next few months.
"Qatar and the al-Thanis pay Quinn tens of millions of dollars in attorney fees each year," the lawsuit said. "Quinn's business with Qatar is so important that it has an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar."
Quinn Emanuel retired as Big3's lawyer.
Big3 had to pursue his strategy against Mason and finally secure confirmation that he had been "inadvertently used" by the Qataris, the lawsuit said.
But now, because of COVID-19, the league's summer season is in ruins, and Quinn Emanuel is arguing over the bill.
In a statement, Ice Cube said: "Injustice takes many forms and I am ready to fight it on all fronts."