The bizarre saga of Moses Malone Jr.’s beef with an unknowing James Harden has a new wrinkle.
This past summer, the eldest son of the late Pro Basketball Hall of Famer accused Harden of orchestrating a plot that left him beaten outside a Houston strip club in alleged retaliation for a Facebook post criticizing the Houston Rockets guard. Now, Malone Jr. is suing Harden for $20,000 in damages resulting from the alleged incident outside the now closed V Live Houston club, according to reports.
To understand this story fully, we must go to the root of Malone Jr.’s beef. He took to Facebook to criticize “Hollywood Harden” for charging inner-city children $249 to attend his basketball camp:
— Kaitlin McCulley (@KaitlinMcCulley) June 28, 2016
As a result, Malone Jr. contended in court documents that four men, one armed with a 9 mm handgun, approached him outside V Live and warned him he had “disrespected James Harden and that he needs to be punished for that.” They allegedly proceeded to beat and rob him of an estimated $50,000 in jewelry. The four men have since been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
One of those men, strip club bouncer Darian Blount, reportedly maintained his innocence but informed police he confronted Malone about the Facebook post, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Malone filed a $1 million lawsuit against V Live in August — months before the strip club closed up shop for allegedly failing to pay almost $200,000 in taxes. Harden was added to the lawsuit this week.
“It has come to light that James Harden paid Blount approximately $20,000 to put a hit on Moses,” the lawsuit alleges, according to KPRC-TV. Malone’s attorney, George Farah, who claims his client and Harden were both regular V Live clientele, told ESPN on Tuesday he is subpoenaing 10 witnesses who can testify to the current MVP candidate’s involvement in the alleged robbery and assault plot.
“All the stories that we’ve heard from all the witnesses were pretty consistent that James Harden was pretty upset about the Facebook post that was posted the night before the attack,” added Farah. “There were text messages between Moses and some of James Harden’s friends. … We have a good trail of evidence that leads to James Harden’s involvement to this.”
It’s important to note, as Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann pointed out, Harden is currently being sued for a crime he has not been charged with committing by Houston police.
Worth noting James Harden has neither been charged nor publicly identified as a suspect for a 2016 robbery that he's now being sued over: https://t.co/12Kz57ZvCW
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) May 16, 2017
“I am totally comfortable that the allegations are untrue,” Harden’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, countered in a statement to Fox 26 on Monday. “Unfortunately, I am afraid this is just another example of people shopping for a deep pocket when they find that the people actually responsible have no money.”
Stay tuned, because this is clearly not the last wrinkle to be ironed out in this bizarre saga.
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