In what is turning out to be one of those "stranger than fiction" cases, a lawsuit involving former NBA star Ray Allen and a man who has accused him of "stalking" him added another wild twist when Allen's representatives filed an emergency motion Tuesday to dismiss the whole thing. Allen's claim: he's actually the victim, caught up in the accuser's crazy "catfishing" scheme and cyber-harassment.
On Tuesday, Allen asked a court in Orange County, Florida to throw out the restraining order filed against him by Bryant Coleman on Monday alleging that Allen is "stalking" him. Coleman, says Allen, is the true stalker, using an online "catfishing" scheme in which he pretended to be "a number of attractive women" interested in meeting up.
"Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen," read Allen's emergency motion, ESPN reports. "Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them."
According to the motion, Allen has been forced to take legal action after Coleman tried to "extract money and embarrass him" and then resorted to making threats against Allen and his family. Coleman, the filing claims, threatened to reveal what could be embarrassing details of their conversations, apparently resulting from his "catfishing" scheme. Coleman agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement with Allen, but when Coleman began allegedly harassing Allen, things escalated.
Coleman eventually filed for a restraining order against Allen, and now the former NBA star is taking legal action. Allen's motion details disturbing behavior by Coleman, whom he describes as "troubled":
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. 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.
In a statement released Tuesday, Allen's attorney, David Oscar Markus, said Allen has "nothing to do with" the accuser and "merely wants to be left alone."
"Ray Allen was the victim of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled," said Markus. "The person who perpetrated this scheme has now started to stalk him and make threats against Ray and his family. Ray has taken legal action to put an end to the threats and to expose his manipulation and wrongdoing."
Markus said that his client "regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person. This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers."