Man Charged In Cruise Extortion Found Dead

'Sultan of Sleaze' outed Paris diaries, Colin sex tape; suicide suspected
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2007 9:50 AM CDT
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(Newser) – The self-proclaimed "Sultan of Sleaze," who exploited celebs' embarrassing moments and pleaded guilty to attempting to extort $1 million from Tom Cruise for wedding photos, was found dead yesterday in an apparent suicide. David Hans Schmidt, who was under house arrest, was to be sentenced next month in the Cruise case, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Schmidt also claimed to have raunchy diaries written by Paris Hilton, a Colin Farrell sex tape, a Fred Durst sex tape, and explicit photos of Jamie Foxx. Not shy about profiting from celebrity discomfort, Schmidt claimed, "Somebody has to make the deals." The extortion charges could have meant a stint in federal prison for Schmidt.