The Plundering Of The Sonny Liston Estate

Hello, my name is Lynel Gardner, in charge of the Estate of Sonny Liston. I published my book in 2013 about my grandfather Sonny Liston called “Beast: The Deconstruction of Charles Sonny Liston.” In 2016, ESPN Investigative journalist Shaun Assael wrote his book called “The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin and Heavyweights.” Mr. Assael’s book became a SHOWTIME SPORTS documentary called “Pariah: The Lives And Deaths of Sonny Liston.”, Written by Director/ Producer Simon George. In the documentary my concepts, ideas, and words were lifted from my book and spoken by guest historians Professor Leah Wright- Rigueur Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, Purdue History Professor Randy Roberts, Ohio State Professor Hasan Jeffries, Nation of Islam member Abdal Rahman Muhammad, and Westside Resident Historian Trish Geran. The entire 89 minute written documentary by Simon George, borrowed the concepts, ideas, and themes from my Amazon Book.
I have informed the U.S. Department of Education about this matter, and they have started an investigation. Shaun Assael’s book “The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights, has now been picked up by UK Production Company Mad As Birds and will begin production in 2021. The Estate of Sonny Liston has the rights to the Image, Likeness, and Name of Sonny Liston. And those rights have been infringed upon for decades. Losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, caused by Sonny’s image, likeness, and name being used in print, media, television, movies, books, merchandise, memorabilia, and music. One of the many examples is the 1965 Ali/Liston Gloves from the 1965 Sonny Liston/Muhammad Ali Fights.Mr. Ali signed both pairs of gloves for Heritage Auction.

The auction was handled by Heritage House agent Chris Ivy. Mr. Ivy is the Director of Sports. According to Chris Ivy, “the gloves were unknown to exist to the wider collecting community, They were immediately seized after the fight by George Russo, Boxing Commissioner for the state of Main. Commissioner Russo confiscated them due to the controversial ending and the “Phantom Punch.”And they stayed in his possession for decades. They were ultimately sold to a collector and the collector consigned them to Heritage Auctions. Proper authentication, signed affidavits, from the main boxing commissioner, signed affidavit from the Muhammad Ali himself. Gloves were handmade by the Frager Company out of Chicago.

Labels on the back of the wrist, the white leather seams, air wholes in the palm, that match up 100%.” The Ali/Liston gloves sold for a little under one million dollars. These gloves were never returned to the Liston family. Even after J.Edger Hoover proved that there was no fix. I’m the first person in history to ask the DOJ through their “Whistle Blower” Program. To release the Sonny Liston/ Muhammad Ali 1964/1965 Fights File only. That proves that J.Edgar Hoover was not concerned about the Ali/ Liston fights. And that he was more concerned with “Enemy Number One.” The Nation of Islam. My grandmother before she died was getting paid by the word, to write her story about Sonny Liston.

She told me that Paramount Pictures was paying by the word to write the script. It would be the first time that Sonny’s story would be told from her perspective. So her story would be unique to any other story in history. This was her life long dream to tell her story. The movie was to be called “Night Train” after Sonny’s nickname. Produced by Tom Cruise, and Ving Rhames. She fell ill and was hospitalized. And on her death bed, she was forced to sign contracts, so she thought. Paramount Pictures contracted Shaun Salerno, to turn Her story into two screenplays. There was a fight over distribution. And Paramount offered her, a hundred thousand dollars, not to have her name on the script.

As of today, the two scripts sit at Paramount Pictures, yet to be greenlit. And Paramount Pictures had no idea that Geraldine Liston was involved in writing both screenplays. My grandmother also was the victim of elderly abuse, when she had to sell Sonny’s Championship belt. The last of the Queens Berry mold, for a measly $10,000. A loss in value at the time of $80,000.

I’m in charge of all business for the Estate of Sonny Liston. My grandmother before she died, asked me to make sure that all her grandchildren, profit from the Sonny Liston Name, Image, and Likeness. So, as my grandmother’s representative, no one heir should profit more than any other. I also have to acknowledge, that my Facebook, Instagram, and Blog, has been infiltrated by Shaun Assael and others like him seeking to profit from my Sonny Liston Stories and ideas. This particular complaint is an updated version of the last complaint about this issue.

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