“It was a bluff. There was no tape. There never was a tape,” said a source.
Music producer Robert Ross originally claimed that O’Neal hired the Main Street Mafia Crips in 2008 to retrieve a tape of the basketball star cheating on his then wife, Shaunie O’Neal.
Ross said at the hearing that while he had security cameras in his house on occasions when Shaq visited, he never actually downloaded any compromising footage.
Police interviewed O’Neal but did not turn up any evidence he ordered or even knew about Ross’s shakedown, sources said.
In another interesting twist, Ross said he had an affair with O’Neal’s wife before the kidnapping and that the hoopster hired a private investigator to tail them.