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extortion

John Stamos Takes a Page Out of the David Letterman Extortion-Handling Book

Friends, we have sad news: Treasured television star and moderately successful Broadway actor John Stamos was nearly extorted recently. It started with an e-mail from someone going by the nom-de-extortion “Brian L.” threatening to release assumably salacious photos of Stamos unless the weirdly specific sum of $680,000 was handed over. But guess what, celebrity extortionists? Post–David Letterman sex scandal, it’s not that easy out in this game — surely taking a cue from the the late-night host's successful strategy, Stamos contacted the authorities instead of paying up. Ultimately, the FBI set up an agent to pose as a Stamos representative and lay a trap for Brian L. And now, the happy part: After showing up for a meeting last week arranged by the agent at an airport near Marquette, the extortionists, Allison Coss and Scott Sippola, have been arrested. And we enter a brighter era, freer of shady people squeezing shady celebrities for money.

Wait, you still want to know what was in those photos? Oh, absolutely nothing — according to real Stamos representative Matt Polk, “at the conclusion of the investigation and hearing, the photos will be available and the public will be able to see that the photos are simply John posing with fans.” So maybe he’s making a really weird face?

FBI: Michigan pair used photos to try to extort $680,000 from TV-stage actor John Stamos [AP]

Photo: Patrick McMullan