Oprah allegedly target of extortion attempt

January 6, 2007 18:47

man allegedly tried to extort $1.5 million (€1.15 million) from Oprah Winfrey by threatening to release taped telephone conversations that he claimed would hurt her reputation, according to a federal complaint. Keifer Bonvillain, 36, allegedly demanded that a Winfrey representative pay him the money in exchange for 12 hours of recorded telephone conversations he'd had with a Winfrey employee he met two years earlier at a party, according to the criminal complaint filed in US District Court. Bonvillain targeted "Individual A," who was "a public figure and the owner of a Chicago-based company," the complaint said. The Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, citing unnamed sources, reported Saturday that Individual A was Winfrey.

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