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Paula Deen

Victim of Extortion Attempt

7/5/2013 1:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0628_paula_deen_article_tmz_3The FBI arrested a man in New York this morning after he allegedly tried to extort $250,000 from Paula Deen ... claiming he would release "true and damning" statements made by Deen unless she paid up.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Georgia on June 24, Deen's attorney went to the FBI after Deen received an email and follow up phone call from a man named Thomas Paculis. 

The complaint claims Paculis threatened to go to the media with information he claimed would bring hardship and financial ruin to Deen. 

According to the FBI, Paculis' email to Deen's attorney read, "I am about to go public with statements refuting your clients statements about using the 'N' word in her business practices at Lady and Son's ... The statements are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it's merit alone."

The email went on to say there is a price for such information and urged Deen's attorney to contact him.

The revelation that Deen had used the N-word, which came about from a leaked deposition she gave as part of a lawsuit against her, came to light just days before.

Paculis was taken into custody today and will go before a judge in Savannah, GA on July 16.

71 COMMENTS

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1.

IwuvTMZ    

Should have gone through a lawyer.

419 days ago
2.

Azi    

Fry him ! Use 2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil and high heat and drop that mofo in there.

419 days ago
3.

@RICHROLLINNHC    

I HAVE KNOW SYMPATHY FOR THIS RACIST

419 days ago
4.

JUstin    

I think it's time we all just let Paula go !!!!! Nothing to see here anymore , Literally nothing ..

419 days ago
5.

Mike44090    

You can see his mugshot here: http://www.heavy.com/entertainment/2013/07/thomas-paculis-paula-deen-extortion/

419 days ago
6.

Nobrows    

What a jerk.

419 days ago
7.

Marcus    

What an idiot. He should have sold that proof to TMZ.

419 days ago
8.

Laura    

I feel like this whole Paula Deen drama is never going to go away.

419 days ago
9.

myopinion    

Why does the media make the complaint against Paula was because of the use of the N-word? Everyone should read the complaint! The media loves to stir up racial tension...SMH

419 days ago
10.

jwoolman    

Doubt that he could trash her career any better than she seems able to do herself- she has a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease. The hostile workplace court case will be her real problem, though. This fellow is just a tiny gnat in comparison, even if he has anything to reveal (which may be unlikely).

419 days ago
11.

@RICHROLLINNHC    

I HAVE KNOW SYMPATHY FOR THIS RACIST!!!! TELL THE SPONSORS THAT DROPED TO GET OFF THE WITCH HUNT, NOT ME. I JUST GOT RID OF ALL MY PAULA DEEN COOKWARE CUZ I DONT SUPPORT RACISTS. THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR HER AGAIN and im good with that.

419 days ago
12.

Her Imperial and Royal Majesty    

How much worse could he possible make things? If I were her, I would ignore his sorry azz and go on my merry way.

419 days ago
13.

VictoriaGirl    

I dont understand why there is so much hatred for this woman but Alec Baldwin ( a man so filled with hate for all people) gets a pass.

419 days ago
14.

Mimi    

Tomato, tomato. Potato, potato: What's difference between Gloria Allred scheduling a press conference, and then calling it off because of a settlement and extortion! You need a lawyer to extort without going to jail.

Anyway, about Paula: Stick a fork in her, she's done!

419 days ago
15.

Fred Thompson    

What an idiot. Her reputation was already ruined....that's like threatening OJ with leaking information about how he killed his wife.

419 days ago
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