Sports legend Bo Jackson awarded $21M after allegedly being harassed and extorted by family members

Jackson — the former Heisman Trophy winner who, professionally, played both football and baseball — alleged his niece and nephew tried to extort him for $20 million.

Bo Jackson
Former MLB and NFL player Bo Jackson watches Auburn and Clemson practice before an NCAA college football game in 2016. A Cobb County judge has ruled in favor of Jackson, awarding the sports legend $21 million in a case alleging he was harassed and extorted by family members. (Photo by Brynn Anderson/AP, File)

A Cobb County, Georgia, judge has ruled in favor of Bo Jackson, awarding the sports legend $21 million in a case alleging he was harassed and extorted by family members.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Jason D. Marbutt’s Feb. 2 judgment prohibits Jackson’s niece and nephew, siblings Thomas Lee Anderson and Erica M. Anderson Ross, from bothering or contacting him and his immediate family. 

The two must stay at least 500 yards away from the Jacksons and their homes, workplaces and schools, plus remove any content about them from social media.

“Unfortunately for those attempting to extort $20 million from Jackson and his family, Bo still hits back hard,” Jackson’s attorneys, Robert Ingram and David Conley, said in a press release last week about the case.

Jackson, 61 — a former Heisman Trophy winner who played for both the National Football League and Major League Baseball — filed the complaint against his niece and nephew in April, alleging they tried to extort him for $20 million.

He claimed the harassment started in 2022 and included threatening social media posts and messages, public allegations casting him in a false light and public disclosure of private information intended to cause him severe emotional distress. 

Jackson accused Anderson of writing on Facebook that he had photos, texts and medical records concerning his uncle to “show America.”

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Jackson said Anderson and Anderson Ross demanded $20 million to stop their behavior, with the help from an Atlanta attorney. He claimed that as a form of intimidation and harassment, they threatened to show up at a restaurant close to his house and ruin a charity function he hosted in April.

The lawsuit asserts that Jackson – born Vincent Edward Jackson – feared for his and his immediate family’s safety. It requested an undetermined amount of compensation for intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy, in addition to a stalker protection order against the Andersons.

Marbutt said neither the Anderson siblings nor their attorneys denied Jackson’s claims or participated in the case after a May hearing, when they consented to a temporary protective order. The judge found the Andersons in default and accepted Jackson’s allegations as true.

“Reasonable people would find defendants’ behavior extreme and outrageous,” Marbutt wrote in the Feb. 2 order, the AJC reported. “The court saw evidence that an attorney representing defendants claimed his clients’ conduct would cease for the sum of $20 million.”

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