On Sunday 12 June 2022, American former professional basketball player and internet-adored icon Shaquille O’Neal went on a date with a mystery woman at New York City’s Jue Lan Club. He must have felt very generous that night because he decided to not only pay his own bill, but also for everyone else eating in the restaurant too, shelling out over $25,000. No big deal, Shaq.
According to Page Six, the NBA star—who is now a sports analyst—arrived at Jue Lan Club around 8:30 pm on Sunday. The pair ordered Beijing chicken, shrimp tempura, and the restaurant’s signature chicken satay.
When it came to paying the check, the 50-year-old bought dinner for the whole server team as well as for the whole restaurant. “To top that off, he paid for everyone’s check [who was] dining at the restaurant,” the anonymous source told the publication.
While this specific act was impressive to say the least, it’s not the first time Shaq went viral online for his generosity. During an appearance on The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast, he revealed that he’d managed to hand out 1,000 PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch consoles as well as bikes from Walmart to underprivileged kids for Christmas 2021.
In February 2022, he did it again, gifting a family of eleven an invaluable donation—a custom Mercedes 15-passenger van. Shaq even took them out for a meal, because why not?
On top of all that, the retired sportsman was also reportedly very secretive about paying for his fellow diners and asked the restaurant’s staff not to mention to the 40-plus tables of eaters that he had covered the cost of their meal until after he’d left the restaurant. How wholesome.
It was during that same appearance on The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast that Shaq revealed this urge to give to others came from his parents. “You know for me, coming from where I come from, my father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman. Didn’t have a lot. But they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need,” he said at the time.
Shaq’s total bill reportedly amounted to “well over $25,000,” and as if this wasn’t enough, the Lakers legend also made sure that the restaurant’s servers were well taken care of. “He left them the biggest tip they’ve ever received,” claimed Page Six’s source.
As for the identity of Shaq’s lucky date, it hasn’t been confirmed who the mysterious woman is. Since divorcing his ex-wife Shaunie in 2011, the star has been linked to actress Annie Ilonzeh, who he reportedly dated in 2021—but it is yet unclear whether she was the woman he dined out with at Jue Lan.
In exclusive bombshell news by The Hollywood Reporter, Kit Harington is set to reprise his role as Jon Snow in HBO’s first sequel of the original fantasy franchise TV series, Game of Thrones (GOT). Though there have been numerous prequel series teased—the first due to be released is of course House of Dragon—the latest endeavour will centre on the fan-favourite character as a spin-off from the previous ending. Yeah, that ending, traumatised GOT fans.
For a quick and horrifying reminder, the final season of the show revealed Snow’s discovery of his true heritage—that he was in fact a ‘bastard’ but the son of Aegon Targaryen and heir to the Iron Throne. Following the disastrous aftermath of the battle for King’s Landing, Snow is exiled from Westeros, making his way North of the Wall to begin a new life with the Wildlings. HBO is reportedly going into early development of a story that would follow past this ending—picking up right where we left off.
Though the release of prequels like House of Dragon have gained decent traction, there is still a hesitancy and collective disdain evident in audiences for what was perhaps the most hated show ending of all time. But maybe, just maybe, a sequel could be the key to winning some of those GOT fans back.
The publication cited that if the show does eventually make it through to production stages, then there is a likelihood that you’ll see some other familiar faces joining the heir to the throne on screen. You know, the ones that didn’t die? Sorry, still salty. Characters like the Stark sisters, Arya and Sansa (played by Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner) may also be set to make appearances. Another fan-favourite, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), could also be returning. Any details about who will be behind the show have not been announced yet.