Gregory M. Holloway, the chairman of a D.C.-based certified public accounting and consulting firm, said Friday he provided financial benefits to Michael Beasley and Beasley’s mother, Fatima Smith, during the one year Beasley attended and played basketball at Kansas State.
A third-party claim Beasley filed against his former AAU coach, Curtis Malone, in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Sept. 27 referenced an unnamed man who paid for Smith’s moving expenses to Kansas and made a “lump-sum payment to cover the first six months of her rent while she was there.” The third-party claim was filed in conjunction with a counterclaim Beasley made against his former agent, Joel Bell.
Holloway acknowledges being that person. He said he provided financial assistance to Smith — at her request — that included paying her rent in Manhattan, Kan., during the 2007-08 academic year. He said he also purchased, at Beasley’s request, the sport-utility vehicle that Beasley drove while at Kansas State.
“I was just trying to be helpful,” Holloway said in a telephone interview. “They both couldn’t afford it. . . .In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t done a thing. But I didn’t have anything to gain from it.”
Beasley’s suits were filed in response to a Jan. 21 breach-of-contract suit in which Bell claims Beasley wrongfully terminated his representation agreement with Bell Sports Inc. just prior to signing an endorsement deal with Adidas. In his suits, Beasley claims Bell and Malone conspired to foster a relationship with Beasley with the intent of securing Bell the rights to represent Beasley professionally.
Holloway said he was introduced to Beasley and Smith by Malone. Malone runs the nationally renowned and locally-based AAU basketball program D.C. Assault, for which Beasley played from 2006.
Holloway said his decision to provide financial assistance to Smith and Beasley was not in any way affected by his relationship with Malone, with whom Holloway said he has been friends “for years.” Holloway described Bell as an “acquaintance” and said Bell played no role in his decision to financially support Smith and Beasley, either.
Contrary to Beasley’s suits, Holloway said Beasley was aware of the benefits being provided to Smith.
“Beasley knew everything,” Holloway said. “His mother knew everything.”
The Manhattan Mercury reported Friday that Holloway wrote a check to M&D Leasing of Manhattan for $11,200 on June 8, 2007. That check covered seven months of rent for the $1,600-per-month town home in east Manhattan, according to the Manhattan Mercury report.
Holloway said he could not recall exactly how much money he provided to Smith.
Holloway said his agreement with Smith and Beasley was that “if and when they were in position to repay it, the only thing I was supposed to get back was a repayment of my money. And they never did. . . . They got in that position, and knowingly and purposefully said, ‘Screw you. I ain’t paying you anything.’ ”
Said Smith, “There is absolutely nothing that I can say about this case. I don’t want to try this case in the media. . . . I know the truth, and they know the truth.”
Originally introduced to Malone through a mutual friend, Holloway said he decided, upon being convinced that Malone’s motivations were pure, to begin providing support, “financial and otherwise,” to D.C. Assault.
The chairman of Holloway & Co., PLLC, Holloway previously served as the director of government-wide audits for the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
“I’ve helped tons of kids, many of which never played college [basketball] or anything beyond high school, that I met through the D.C. Assault program,” Holloway said. “It was a give-back for me.”
Beasley’s third-party claim against Malone claims that from 2003 to 2008, Smith “received money from Malone, Bell and a man introduced to Ms. Smith by Malone in concert with Bell.”
Bill Heyman, Malone’s attorney, responded, “Greg Holloway is a basketball fan and is a supporter of D.C. Assault, so that they [Smith and Holloway] may have met at a game or practice or something like that. You’d have to ask them. But Curtis does not deny that they were in the same place together or that he knew that Fatima and Greg were friends. But Curtis did not set up or arrange a meeting between them for any purpose at all, like it is alleged in the third-party complaint. Absolutely not.”
Beasley’s third-party claim also alleges that “Malone told Ms. Smith that the man was someone who was important to him and his basketball program, and that the more she allowed this man to do things for her, the better it was for D.C. Assault.”
Said Bill Heyman: “Curtis had no idea that any alleged payments were made by Holloway before they were made and had nothing at all to do with arranging for any payments. If any of those payments were made, it was done after Beasley was out of D.C. Assault, when Beasley was in college, according to Beasley’s own allegations.”
Holloway said that sometime after his respective introductions to them, Smith and Beasley began approaching him to ask for financial assistance for various things. Holloway would not disclose other items he purchased or helped pay for on behalf of Smith or Beasley.
“At that point, Beasley was like a son to me,” Holloway said. “In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t done anything. At that point, I had known him for a few years. Would have done it even if he wasn’t a basketball player at Kansas State. I’m not impressed with celebrity. Michael to me was just another kid that was from another relatively poor family. I had the capacity to help, and I kind of adopted him like I do a lot of those kids, as a son.”
Beasley’s lawsuit claims that in January 2008, Holloway telephoned Smith and told her that he wanted to be Beasley’s financial adviser.
Smith called Malone and informed him about the conversation. Malone said “something dismissive about (Holloway) and told Ms. Smith to be at ease,” the suit says.
Holloway denied ever telephoning Smith to request to be Beasley’s financial adviser.
“That is a flat-out lie,” Holloway said. “I have never asked to be anything for Michael Beasley.”
Holloway said that, to his knowledge, neither Malone nor Bell were aware of the financial assistance he provided to Smith and Beasley. Holloway said attorneys for both Malone and Beasley have contacted him to discuss the allegations made in Beasley’s lawsuit.
“The whole thing over this Beasley-Joel Bell thing, I don’t like either side of the argument,” Holloway said. “But I will tell you this: The truth of the matter is, as it relates to me, Fatima approached me directly. Michael approached me directly. And neither Joel, nor Curtis, had anything to do with any of it.”