I got Shaquille O'Neal's phone call at about three in the morning. I knew the call was coming, so I was already awake. I knew exactly what this was about. "Statch," he said as soon I hit "answer" on my cellphone, "I need your help." He didn't even give me a chance to say "hello." "I did something stupid, Statch. Something really stupid." He was weeping. "I know, Shaq, and if I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure the whole world knows at this point.""You gotta help me, Statch, you gotta tell me what to do." 'Statch' is sort of a nickname, by the way. Years ago, I was a fairly successful underground rapper who, due to the fact that I was so young at the time, was dubbed by the rap community as 'Statutory Rap' or 'Statch,' by close friends. Shaq, as you've probably deduced yourself, was one of those friends. "Tell me what to do, Statch. Just tell me what to do and I'll do it. Like old times." Old times. He never would've even gotten himself into this mess if he'd have just
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.