Man arrested for blackmail of Oprah

TALK IS CHEAP: Oprah Winfrey 
talks about budgeting. © Getty Images/Touchline.
TALK IS CHEAP: Oprah Winfrey talks about budgeting. © Getty Images/Touchline.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested and charged with attempting to extort $1,5million (about R11million) from US television star Oprah Winfrey, below.

A 36-year-old man has been arrested and charged with attempting to extort $1,5million (about R11million) from US television star Oprah Winfrey, below.

A criminal complaint filed in the Chicago district court claims that Keifer Bonvillain, of Atlanta, Georgia, targeted "a public figure and owner of a Chicago-based company", who the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times newspapers have identified as being Winfrey.

Bonvillain is accused of illegally recording conversations he had with an alleged Winfrey employee he met in 2004.

The complaint claims Bonvillain e-mailed the "owner" in October saying he had records of the employee making unflattering comments about her.

Bonvillain is also alleged to have told the employee he would publish a book based on the recordings unless he received a substantial amount of money.

After the employee had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), he agreed to the $1,5million price for the tapes and offered to meet Bonvillain in a Chicago car park.

Bonvillain was arrested the following day but has refused to confirm that he tried to extort money out of Winfrey.

Concerning charges laid against him, Bonvillain said: "It's nothing. It was a mix-up."- Wenn

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