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Friday, October 31, 2014

Chris Andersen was catfished

Mario Chalmers BirdmanChris “Birdman” Andersen has led a much more interesting life than your average professional athlete. He made his way back to the NBA once again last season and won a championship with the Miami Heat. Andersen also missed two years from 2006-2008 after he violated the NBA’s drug policy. And then there was that time he got catfished.

Before joining the Heat last season, Andersen found himself at the center of a bizarre investigation. He missed a playoff game in 2012 when he was playing for the Denver Nuggets when authorities searched his home in relation to their Internet Crimes Against Children unit. No charges were filed against Birdman, and his lawyers had the following to say in a statement that Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim passed along:

“A female fan in 2010 mailed Mr. Andersen multiple letters and included several photos in which she was scantily clad. Chris and this woman communicated with each other and in 2011, this woman, who represented herself as 21 years of age, flew to Colorado, showing her required identification. After leaving Colorado, she became upset at his lack of interest. In 2012, she threatened to retaliate if he did not provide financial remuneration. … Mr. Andersen has been fully cooperative with the authorities.”

It later came out that Andersen had a relationship with a girl from California who misrepresented her age. However, he did not break any laws. The legal age to give consent in Colorado is 17. So there was that, but that wasn’t all that happened to the Birdman.

Apparently he was also a victim of cyber identity theft from a different woman in Canada. The woman allegedly hacked into Andersen’s email, phone, social media outlets, bank records and video game console and established a relationship with another woman from California while posing as Birdman. According to SI.com, the impostor made some sexually explicit demands will pretending to be Andersen.

The woman who thought she had been talking to Andersen contacted authorities, which led to the investigation involving the Internet Crimes Against Children unit. After combing through roughly 4,000 pages of information, investigators in Canada and the US determined that the Canadian woman had posed as other people — potentially other NBA players — and made contact with other victims. She was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, personation, extortion, transmission of child pornography and utter threats.

Authorities later said that they are still looking into the details of the crimes but that Andersen has not been charged in relation with the case.

People make their own luck. They can also get unlucky. Birdman may be to blame for allowing drugs to nearly derail his NBA career, but it sounds like he was merely of victim of circumstance in this case. Fortunately, authorities were able to get to the bottom of what actually happened. The Heat are certainly glad they did.



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