Latest Woe for Paula Deen: Extortion
Man arrested, wanted $250K not to release 'damning' information
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 5, 2013 3:54 PM CDT
In this publicity image released by NBC, celebrity chef Paula Deen appears on NBC News' "Today" show, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in New York.   (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)

(Newser) – We can safely assume Paula Deen is not having a very nice holiday weekend. The latest: Authorities today arrested a New York man charged with trying to extort money from her, in exchange for not going to the media with "true and damning statements" he said she made. According to a criminal complaint filed in Georgia, 62-year-old Thomas George Paculis was threatening to go to the media with statements made by Deen unless the former Food Network star gave him $250,000. The complaint does not specify what was in the statements Paculis claimed were made by Deen.

Paculis allegedly wrote an email to Deen's lawyer, Greg Hodges, on June 24, several days after Deen's n-word scandal broke. The text of the email is transcribed in the complaint: "I am about to go public with statements refuting your clients statements about using the 'N' word in her business practices at Lady and Son's ... The statements are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it's merit alone..." The FBI instructed Hodges to reply to the email, and Paculis provided several examples of information that he believed "would damage your client in so many ways that it would sink your ship before it left the dock."

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Latest Woe for Paula Deen: Extortion is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 27 comments
Jul 25, 2013 12:38 PM CDT
Everyone sins and says things about others in this world. All you can do is say you are sorry and not do it again. I think because she has money, they (accusers) want her money only to punish her for NO wrongdoing that she has done. Is she had no money, then there would be no future lawsuit or news about this innocent woman. Also my philosophy is that God will punish those who lie about others to destroy their innocent reputations.
Jul 8, 2013 8:34 AM CDT
Humans insult people.. It is our nature.. The N word is a word.. like thousands of others used for insults.. It must be our guilt of past slavery that makes this word so different from other insults.... Otherwise .. it makes no logical sense???
Jul 7, 2013 12:58 PM CDT
Millions of "N" people use the "N" word everyday. The "N" people are the biggest racists of all. Who hasn't used the "N" word. It is very much part of our History. Get off her back!! 1492