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Former NFL Pro Bowler and MLB All-Star Bo Jackson was awarded $21 million for a civil case against his niece and nephew for attempting to extort him.
The decision was made on Feb. 2 and included a permanent protective order that prohibits siblings Thomas Lee Anderson and Erica M. Anderson Ross from bothering or contacting Jackson as well as his immediate family members any further (via ESPN). They are also required to remain at least 500 yards from the Jackson and his family in addition to the removal of any social media content about them.
The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner said the harassment began in 2022, including threatening social media posts and the public disclosure of private information. He said the Andersons demanded $20 million for them to end their conduct.
“Reasonable people would find defendants’ behavior extreme and outrageous,” Cobb County Superior Court Judge Jason D. Marbutt wrote, per ESPN. “The court saw evidence that an attorney representing defendants claimed his clients’ conduct would cease for the sum of $20 million.”
Marbutt found the Andersons to be in default, accepting as true all of Jackson’s allegations, according to Rosie Manins of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Unfortunately for those attempting to extort $20 million from Jackson and his family, Bo still hits back hard,” said Jackson’s lawyers Robert Ingram and David Conley (per ESPN).
Jackson was a rare two-sport professional athlete, playing in both the NFL and MLB simultaneously from 1987 through 1990. He spent four years in the NFL with the Las Vegas Raiders, formerly known as the Los Angeles Raiders. Jackson was also a member of the then-California Angels, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox throughout his eight years in the majors.