Attorneys representing Zion Williamson's former marketing representative and her company have asked the New Orleans Pelicans star to admit that his mother and stepfather demanded and received gifts, money and other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Adidas and Nike and also from people associated with Duke to influence him to sign with the Blue Devils and to wear Nike or Adidas products.
Williamson, who played one season at Duke before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, sued Gina Ford and Prime Sports in June in an attempt to terminate his marketing agreement with her company.
Williamson's attorney's claimed the contract was in violation of North Carolina's Uniform Athlete Agents Act because Prime Sports is not certified by the NBA Players Association or a registered athlete agent in North Carolina or Florida.
Ford and Prime Sports Marketing sued Williamson, Creative Artists Agency [CAA] and two of its employees in a Florida court the same month, alleging CAA interfered with Prime Sports' deal with Williamson and that he breached their five-year contract. The lawsuit seeks $100 million in punitive damages.
In a filing with Miami-Dade County court last week, Ford's attorneys asked Williamson to admit that several statements were true, including:
• Sharonda Sampson, Williamson's mother, and Lee Anderson, his stepfather, "demanded and received gifts and economic benefits from persons acting on behalf of Duke University (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball."
• Sampson and Anderson "demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons on behalf of Nike (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to attend Duke University to play basketball."
• Sampson and Anderson "demanded and received gifts, money and/or other benefits from persons acting on behalf of Adidas (directly and/or indirectly) to influence [Williamson] to wear Adidas shoes" and to "influence [Williamson] to attend a college that endorsed Adidas shoes."
• Before becoming a student at Duke, Williamson "or person(s) acting on [his] behalf (including but not limited to Sharonda Sampson and Lee Anderson) accepted benefits from a NCAA-certified agent that are not expressly permitted by the NCAA legislation" between Jan. 1, 2014 and April 14, 2019.