TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Oprah the Victim of $1.5 Million Blackmail Scheme

1/6/2007 10:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey was the target of an extortion plot by an Atlanta man who claimed to have damaging audio tapes he would release if he wasn't paid off, federal court charges allege.

The man, Keifer Bonvillain, is accused of illegally recording phone conversations he had with a Winfrey employee about her and her business. According to the charges, he then asked for $1.5 million from a second person, described as a Winfrey "business associate," to destroy the tapes and his notes.

The charges go on to say that Bonvillain threatened to sell the information to the tabloids or write a book about them.

Winfrey is not identified in the complaint, but instead the documents refer to an "Individual A," who is "a public figure and the owner of a Chicago-based company." The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune on Saturday identified "Individual A" as Winfrey, whose Harpo Studios is based in Chicago.

Bonvillain's attorney, Kent Carlson, told the Tribune and Sun-Times he could neither confirm nor deny details in the complaint.

43 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Azaziah    

Is Oprah's skin looking lighter everyday or is it just me.I hope she doesn't start dangling baby's off second floor balconys any time soon.I think I would like to give the dog a bone.

2810 days ago
32.

Brit_ney Rulez    

This is why I'm ok with not being rich -- there will always be people who feel entitled to a cut of your wealth and will do anything to get it.

Get a job, parasites!

2810 days ago
33.

Mouse    

Maybe she can stand in front of the courthouse and yell free speech rocks again. And on the other side of her mouth she has her employees muzzled.She is as phoney as powered milk.

2810 days ago
34.

kr    

if it was'nt for the people she would'nt be rich, so she should give back to the people who sit and watch that crap...i dont know why anybody would pay anybody! to do what she does or anybody else for that matter...if it was'nt for talk shows we would'nt have half the problems thats goin on in our homes today.

2810 days ago
35.

nika    

um kr, no.

If it wasnt for parents who,

1)Allow their children to raise THEM
2)Think that buying their children ipods,cell phone,etc. is what constitutes being a good "parent"
3)Have no clue what it means to discipline their children ( I hate seeing kids yelling and falling out in the middle of the store and have the parents stand their with a stupid smile on their faces like the crap is cute)
4)Blame all of their problems that they are having with their children on television.

We would not have half the problems in our household today.

2809 days ago
36.

Seriously    

Yeah kr. Think about it. Oprah gets paid millions to sit on her ass
and talk to people. Nice work if you can get it.

2809 days ago
37.

AM    

In regards to Oprah's skin tone ------there are millions of people trying to make their skin darker than whiter ----how many whiting salons do you see in the malls??? "Go figure"

2809 days ago
38.

moretocome    

>>whitey

Who could buy and sale your white @ss. If she wanted. You my friend are jealous of a black women. LOL Must be killing you.

2809 days ago
39.

kr    

# 37 what the hell does that have to do with what i said..lol the goverment is responsibal for not letting parents disipline there kids ! what gets me the people who does watch her thinks shes greater than god and whatever she says and does is the gosple, if she told the people to kill there first born they would all line up on tv to do it.

2809 days ago
40.

TJ    

it's okay that they are now obsessed with oprah ...at least brangelina, tomkat were pushed on the back burner for the moment. tmz must be slipping...no rosie/trump stuff today...yawnnnnnnnn

2809 days ago
41.

2Truthy    

So what did she say?

"Go get me some Popeye's chitlins and don't tell nobody or I'll fire your sorry ass"? She was probably dieting and just feeling a little cranky. The press and the lawyers ought to just forget about it and make the perp wash and wax her cars for the next thrity years. -2Truthy

2809 days ago
42.

malvolio    

...I agree that kitty is possibly involved. the tapes could have something to do w/ her sexual orientation (anyone, especially an employee, who tapes someone unawares is a scum-bag). as for the obssession on these boards w/ "the black man," all this "hating" is pretty transparent...you know you want it ;-} ...

2809 days ago
43.

janet mellon    

Oprah has more going for her, in her little finger, than Rosie or Bonvillian in their whole bodies. Give her a rest.

2793 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3

Around The Web