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Zion Williamson faces new roadblock in lawsuit

New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Duke Blue Devils, Lawsuit

Zion Williamson seemed to be on his way to an easy win after the latest findings from his lawsuit saw the judge rule in his favor. However, the New Orleans Pelicans star’s former marketing agent, Gina Ford, has found and filed for newly-discovered evidence in the North Carolina federal lawsuit.

A new affidavit claims Williamson and his stepfather were paid $400,000 in Oct. 2018 in exchange for granting exclusive marketing rights to another agent, according to Daniel Wallach, a legal analyst for The Athletic.

Wallach has followed this case closely from the start and this latest finding could be enough to throw Ford’s lawyers another lifeline to win the lawsuit after previous failed attempts.

Donald Kreiss, a new witness who came forward after contacting Ford’s attorneys, signed a 38-page affidavit which also attached a copy of a marketing agreement between Williamson and a Canadian entity under the name of “Maximum Management Group.”

Jeffrey S. Klein, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the attorneys who represent Williamson, denied the allegations made by Ford and her attorneys, calling the documents provided to the court “fraudulent” and citing this latest discovery as an irresponsible smear campaign:

“The alleged “agreements” and driver’s license attached to these papers are fraudulent – and neither Mr. Williamson nor his family know these individuals nor had any dealings with them. We had previously alerted Ms. Ford’s lawyers to both this fact and that we had previously reported the documents to law enforcement as forgeries, but they chose to go ahead with another frivolous filing anyway.  This is  a desperate and irresponsible attempt to smear Mr. Williamson at the very time he has the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional basketball.”

Wallach did a little file-checking of his own, soon finding this story from well over 30 years ago, where Kreiss was found not guilty of trying to solicit the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s husband.

The case is as obscure as it gets, as the person Kreiss was found innocent of soliciting was none other than former NFL star lineman Ernie “Fats” Holmes. Holmes was a two-time champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers through his seven seasons in the league. Wallach ensured to clarify he wasn’t sure if this 1986 article referred to the same Donald Kreiss.

The characters in this case just keep getting murkier, as Kreiss will have to appear before a jury to testify against the Pelicans star and his stepfather, who could face some complications to clear their names.

Editor’s note: The article was updated with a statement from Williamson’s attorneys.