Cobb County

Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson awarded $21 million in Cobb County blackmail, stalking case

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Heisman Trophy winner and former Auburn running back Vincent “Bo” Jackson was awarded a multi-million dollar verdict in Cobb County after suing members of his family for attempting to extort him.

According to attorneys Robert Ingram and David Conley, who represented Jackson, the only athlete to be chosen as an All-Star player in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball, two members of Jackson’s family tried to blackmail him to get about $20 million.

The issues between Jackson and his “would-be extorters” Thomas Lee Anderson and Erica M. Anderson began in 2022, when the Andersons were said to have “formed a conspiracy with a purpose of extorting money” from Jackson.

Findings of fact described in the court records state that the Andersons harassed and intimidated Jackson, intentionally inflicted emotional distress and invaded his privacy, threatening continued harassment and intimidation, as well as “tortious conduct,” unless he paid them $20 million.

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To do so, the Andersons contacted Jackson and his immediate family online through social media and direct messages, “publicly disclosing and threatening to continue public disclosures of allegations” that put Jackson in a false light, as well as publicizing private details meant to cause him “severe emotional distress.”

The Andersons also threatened to appear at locations near Jackson’s home specifically to intimidate and harass him, according to court records, as well as appearing at a charity event he was hosting.

The court found that there was no legitimate purpose for these actions and that even after receiving a cease and desist letter from Jackson’s attorneys, the intimidation and harassment continued.


As a result, Jackson was “in reasonable fear for his safety and the safety of his immediate family,” according to the court and he did suffer severe emotional distress.

Jackson went to court to get emergency injunctive relief, due to the following “imminent threats” that were delivered to him in early 2023.

  • Posts made on social media in February 2023 threatening harassment and intimidation against Jackson
  • Erica Anderson posted on Facebook threatening to disrupt a charity event hosted by Jackson in Auburn on April 22, 2023
  • Thomas Anderson posted comments threatening to release photos, texts and medical records of Jackson’s
  • Attorneys for Thomas Anderson said their client would stop harassing Jackson, as well as have Erica Anderson stop, in return for $20 million

In court, after a May 2023 hearing, the defendants and their attorneys stopped appearing in court. The defendants and their attorneys were given until June to provide answers in court, but neither did.

A Cobb County judge ruled that all of the allegations were factually agreed to, and provided a protective order to prevent Jackson from being stalked by the Andersons.

Additionally, a judge granted a permanent injunction to Jackson and default judgment with a $21 million award for damages due to the actions of the Andersons causing Jackson “severe emotional distress” and acted “with malice, wantonness, oppression, with a conscious indifference to circumstances and with the specific intent to cause harm.”

The defendants were said to have caused unnecessary trouble and expense for Jackson and behaved in bad faith, leading to a total judgment against them of $21,108,029.84, which shall also grow with interest beginning Feb. 2, when the judge delivered the order.

Both of the Andersons are now also legally barred from appearing within 500 yards of Jackson, and banned from any type of direct or indirect contact with him. Additionally, the Andersons were ordered not to act or threaten to act against Jackson, and must remove any audio or video recordings of Jackson and his family from any online platforms.

If either of the Andersons violate the protective order, they are liable for fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in jail, according to court records.

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