Shohei Ohtani should be dismissed from FTX endorsement lawsuit, his lawyers say

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani sits in the dugout during a baseball game.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani watches from the dugout during a game against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Shohei Ohtani should be dismissed from a lawsuit alleging his endorsement of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, his attorneys argued in a court filing Friday.

The filing includes a four-page sworn declaration from Ohtani in Japanese, which he signed Tuesday in Anaheim, and an English translation certified by a notary.

Ohtani and other celebrity defendants were sued last November in U.S. District Court in Miami, with the plaintiffs claiming FTX leveraged the endorsers to lure consumers into investing “billions of dollars into the deceptive FTX platform to keep the whole scheme afloat.” The suit claims the celebrity endorsers did not properly evaluate FTX and should thus share responsibility for an alleged $11 billion in damages.


In Friday’s response, Ohtani joined four of the other defendants — Stephen Curry, Larry David, Naomi Osaka and the Golden State Warriors — in arguing the court has no jurisdiction over them because they do not live in Florida and did not conduct business specifically aimed at Florida residents.

Shohei Ohtani allowed one hit but walked five over seven innings in the Angels’ 2-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

April 11, 2023

Ohtani said he was “a professional baseball player for the Japanese National Baseball Team based in Tokyo, Japan, and the Los Angeles Angels based in Anaheim, California.” He said his legal residence is in Tokyo, and he rents an apartment in Newport Beach during the Angels’ season.

He said his agreement with FTX enabled the company to use his name, image and likeness in its marketing in Japan.

“My native language is Japanese,” Ohtani wrote, “and I purposely communicate through a translator whenever I make public statements.”

In the court filing, the attorneys said the suit does not allege Ohtani made a statement endorsing FTX, and certainly not one aimed at consumers in Florida.

“Mr. Ohtani does not make public statements in English,” the attorneys wrote.

The attorneys filed a separate request to dismiss claims against all the defendants — including Tom Brady and Shaquille O’Neal — calling them “frivolous.”


Ohtani signed his declaration at 3:14 p.m. Tuesday. Three and a half hours later, he took the mound and shut out the Washington Nationals on one hit over seven innings in a 2-0 Angels victory.