This week in weird internet news you’d rather not be aware of, it appears that future Hall-of-Famer Ray Allen has fallen victim to an elaborate “catfishing” scam designed to extort money from the retired two-time NBA champ.
The convoluted ordeal includes a Florida man named Bryant Coleman who allegedly used social media to trick Allen into believing he was interacting with various women and who subsequently threatened to leak information about their correspondences if Allen didn’t pay him off.
Allen apparently did pay the man yet claims the man continued to harass him for money and even went so far as to accuse Allen in local court of cyber-stalking him. That ultimately led Allen to file his own legal motion against Coleman.
“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.”
Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.
“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”
Poor Ray. We’ve all been there, in one way or another. The lesson, as always, is that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Although that line is understandably skewed for the rich and famous.
The story took another turn on Tuesday afternoon when Coleman claimed to TMZ Sports that, not only was he not catfishing Allen, but that he and Allen had been romantically involved for some time.
“Ray knows how I look, he knows how my voice sounds, he knows how I think, and most importantly, he knows my heart.”
“However, because of confidentially considerations, I am not in a position to provide a more detailed response to Mr. Allen’s false and salacious claims. I will rely on the courts to protect me against Mr. Allen’s violent threats and false accusations.”
Allen’s attorney, however, quickly refuted those claims, as well as any notion that his client had ever made threats toward Coleman.