Zion Williamson and his mother and stepfather are being sued for failing to pay $1.8 million in loans to a California-based tech company.

In the lawsuit, Ankr PBC said that it had loaned the New Orleans Pelicans star’s family $2 million in September 2021 and had been expecting the money back by last August.

The company — which specializes in blockchain-related technologies used in finance and data storage — states in the lawsuit that it had hoped Williamson could serve as a spokesperson.

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Zion Williamson dribbles

Jan 2, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives against Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

“Based on Williamson’s statements to Ankr, Ankr reasonably believed that Williamson’s stepfather, Lee Anderson, possessed the authority to negotiate business arrangements for Williamson,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit states that Ankr also has helped Williamson with community events and identified a physical trainer and a personal chef for the player.

Ankr also alleges that Anderson told the company that “his family would suffer financial hardship, and Williamson would not enter into a business relationship with Ankr,” if the loan were not made immediately. The lawsuit adds to the list of controversies Williamson has been involved with this offseason. 

Last April, Ankr and Anderson entered into a forbearance agreement in which the company agreed not to sue if it were to receive repayment of $500,000 by April 25 and the remainder by July 6, according to the lawsuit.

Ankr recieved $500,000 on time, but about $300,000 of that covered interest, and the remaining $1.8 million has not been repaid, the lawsuit said.

Zion Williamson vs 76ers

Jan 2, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson warms up before action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

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Williamson has been the subject of a social media controversy with an ex-porn star who threatened to release sex tapes of the two shortly after she seemingly confessed her love for him.

He also recently spoke out about his poor dieting habits, which have contributed to him being off the floor quite often in his career.

He also recently posted audio of The Notorious B.I.G’s “Suicidal Thoughts,” leading fans to be concerned for his well-being.

The 6-foot-6, 284-pound Pelicans forward has been limited to 114 regular-season appearances out of a possible 308 games in his four years in the league. A foot injury sidelined Williamson for the entire 2021-22 season. 

Zion Williamson vs the Suns

Dec 17, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona: New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

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In 29 games last year, he averaged 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4.6 assists. In his career, he’s put up 25.8 points, 7 boards and 3.6 assists per contest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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