As if Paula Deen isn’t dealing with enough personal and legal trouble, now she is apparently the target of an alleged extortion plot which was exposed by the FBI this week.
On Friday, FBI officials said that they had arrested 62-year-old Thomas Paculis in Newfield, New York. Paculis is allegedly connected to a huge Paula Deen extortion scheme which threatened the celebrity chef with “true and damning” statements to the media unless $250,000 was paid to him.
Paculis had previously resided in Savannah and Augusta in Deen’s home state of Georgia.
Deen hasn’t released a statement on the extortion plot yet, but her lawyer has been in contact with the FBI’s Atlanta office after Paculis sent an email and even placed a phone call requesting money. Paculis said that his information would bring further hardship and financial ruin to the already embattled chef.
Paula Deen’s extortion plot is just the latest in a long line of troubles for the comfort chef. She has already been dropped by a dozen business partners over the past few weeks due to her use of a racial slur revealed in a recent lawsuit deposition.
The lawsuit was filed by a former employee, and accused a Deen family restaurant of facilitating a discriminatory environment in which she herself was sexually harassed.
What do you think of the Paula Deen extortion plot? Could Thomas Paculis somehow have damning information against the celebrity chef, or is it a clear case of him trying to better his own circumstances by taking advantage of a known controversy? Sound off!