Auburn legend Bo Jackson wins $21 million in extortion case against family members
Auburn legend Bo Jackson has been awarded roughly $21 million by a Cobb County judge in a civil extortion case brought against his niece and nephew.
The judgment came down on Feb. 2 alongside a permanent protective order that bars Thomas Lee Anderson and Erica M. Anderson, from contacting Jackson and his immediate family members, according to a report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The lawsuit, which was filed by Jackson in April, alleged that the Andersons tried to extort $20 million from him through harassment and intimidation.
Jackson, 61, feared for his safety and that of his immediate family, the lawsuit states. The alleged harassment began in 2022 and included threatening social media posts, public allegations and threats of public allegations that put him in a false light, and public disclosure of private information, WSB-TV reported.
The relatives allegedly threatened to appear at a restaurant near his home and disrupt a charity event he hosted in Auburn. The Andersons demanded $20 million from Jackson to end the conduct.
Cobb County Superior Court Judge Jason D. Marbutt said neither the Andersons nor their attorneys rebutted Jackson’s claims or participated in the case after a May hearing, when they consented to a temporary protective order, per the AJC. Marbutt found the Andersons to be in default, accepting all of Jackson’s allegations as true.
“Reasonable people would find defendants’ behavior extreme and outrageous,” Marbutt wrote, per the AJC. “The court saw evidence that an attorney representing defendants claimed his clients’ conduct would cease for the sum of $20 million.”
A former professional baseball and football player, Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 after running for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jackson finished his career at Auburn with 4,575 all-purpose yards and 45 total touchdowns, His No. 34 jersey was officially retired at Auburn in 1992 — one of only three numbers retired by the school.