Recently, Ice Cube, the famed rapper and actor, filed a lawsuit, along with Jeff Kwatinetz, his business partner. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, is against an investor from Qatar and a member of the Qatari royal family.
The lawsuit is worth $1.2 billion. In it, Ice Cube and his partner claim that the investors from Qatar tried to set up a meeting with Steve Bannon via the BIG3 basketball league. The investors included Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani who is the CEO of the Qatari Investment Authority and Ahmed Al Rumaihi, a former Qatari diplomat. Steve Bannon is the former chief strategist for US President Donald Trump. The Qatari officials were trying to make use of Ice Cube’s basketball league to gain influence in and access into US politics.
Ice Cube and his partner are claiming that the investors had promised to make investments worth millions of dollars in their BIG3 basketball league. However, the amount was never received by the duo.
Instead, the Qatari investors used the money as well as the connection with Ice Cube for creating positive public relations for the country of Qatar.
As per official documents, the duo has stated that the investors had only given $7.5 million to the league. As per the initial agreement, they were supposed to invest $20.5 million. The investors had agreed to make an upfront payment of $11.5 million as sponsorship to the BIG3 along with a further $9 million which would be paid over the next 3 years. Instead, the Qatari investors only paid $6.5 million as an advance. An additional $1 million was given in December 2017.
Additionally, Ice Cube and his partner allege that Al Rumaihi, one of the investors, was actually acting as a representative of the Qatari government and that Rumaihi’s actual target was Steve Bannon.
Kwatinetz, Ice Cube’s partner, has stated that Al Rumaihi had asked him to set up a meeting with Steve Bannon. Al Rumaihi also told Kwatinetz to mention to Bannon that the Qatari government would be willing to underwrite all of Bannon’s political efforts for his support.
Kwatinetz stated that he had turned down this request and considered it to be a bribe which had appalled him. Al Rumaihi has also been accused of boasting about providing money to other top aides of President Trump, including Michael Flynn. Flynn has now been fired from his position of National Security Advisor.