Cindy Crawford and her restauranteur husband Rande Gerber have been the victims of an extortion plot, TMZ revealed Thursday, by a former friend, Edis Kayalar. Like the David Letterman extortion plot, details of the Cindy Crawford extortion reveal that events in the story stretch back over a number of weeks. In fact, the principal player in the Cindy Crawford extortion plot, Edis Kayalar, was deported to his native Germany for his involvement in the plot back in September. But Edis Kayalar wasn’t satisfied to let it end there.
According to legal documents, Rande Gerber paid Edis Kayalar $1000 for a photograph supposedly taken by the couple’s nanny during a game of “cops and robbers.” According to the nanny, the photo was taken as a prank and Kayalar, who was once the boyfriend of the nanny, stole the photo from her. The photo depicts Cindy Crawford’s young daughter bound to a chair and gagged. Although the purchased photo was supposed to be the only copy, Kayalar approached Gerber again for more money just a few days later. Gerber and Crawford took their story to the Los Angeles Police Department, who in turn gave the case to the FBI.
Edis Kayalar, a former model, was arrested in September. Found in violation of his immigration status, he was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and subsequently deported. TMZ reported that Kayalar contacted Rande Gerber in November from Germany, demanding that he be paid $100,000 or he would have no choice but to release the photo to the press since Gerber and Cindy Crawford had him deported.
Edis Kayalar has been charged with extortion and is facing two years in prison.
TMZ also reported that around the end of September, an unidentified party contacted the celebrity gossip website, stating they had the photo and were willing to sell it but wanted to know if they could get in trouble for doing so. TMZ maintained that they passed on both the photo and giving the party legal advice.
As for the David Letterman extortion case, a packet was left in the talk show host’s vehicle in September. After seeing the contents, Letterman took it to his lawyer, who then turned the case over to authorities. David Letterman shocked his live and viewing audiences by admitting to multiple affairs with his staff at “The Late Show with David Letterman” and that he had testified earlier that day against Robert J. Halderman, a producer at CBS’ “48 Hours,” in a $2 million extortion scheme. The plot was to get Letterman to fork over the money so that Halderman allegedly would not make public Letterman’s past affairs with his staffers.
Halderman’s lawyer filed for a dismissal in New York Tuesday, stating that the case against his client was actually a business transaction. David Letterman’s attorneys told the judge that Letterman was willing to pursue the case and would testify if needed.
In still another recent extortion case involving a high profile celebrity, the John Travolta extortion trial ended in mistrial when the judge ordered that a new trial be convened due to an announcement by a lawmaker in the Bahamas (where the trial was held) that stated one of the defendants had been acquitted, which was not the case. According to the Associated Press, the jury was in deliberations when the mistrial was announced. The defendants allegedly attempted to extort $25 million not to disclose private information regarding the death of John Travolta’s son, Jett, in January.
Associated Press (via Popeater.com)