Paula Deen Extorted: New York Man Arrested for Demanding $250,000 From Celebrity Chef

Jul 09, 2013 04:29 PM EDT | By Dina Exil

  • print
Paula Deen
Paula Deen announced plans to open a new restaurant in Tennessee. (Photo : Food Network)

A New York resident was arrested and charged with extorting money from celebrity chef Paula Deen in exchange for not releasing information on statements she allegedly made. 

Thomas George Paculis allegedly asked Deen's attorney for $250,000 to keep "true and damning" information from the media. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and local sheriff duties arrested Paculis, 62, in Newfield, N.Y., Friday morning. 

Like Us on Facebook

According to Reuters, Paculis approached Lisa Jackson, former manager to the Deen's restaurants Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House," claiming to have information that was "true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on its merit alone." 

Paculis allegedly sent an email to George Hodges, Deen's attorney, on June 24, several days after Deen's statements were made public. 

"I am about the go public with the statement refuting your client statements about using the 'N' word in her business practices at Lady and Son's," Paculis wrote according to the Huffington Post. "The statement are true and damning enough that the case for Jackson will be won on it's merit alone."

Paculis mentioned his price for information and asked Hodge to contact him. 

Hodge contacted the FBI, which instructed Hodge to respond to Paculis and negotiation a reduction in payment from $250,000 to $200,000. The two exchanged several emails and phone calls, Reuters reported. 

Deen is being sued along with her brother, Bubba Hiers, by Jackson.The lawsuit alleges sexual harassment and a work environment rife with racial slurs.

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz

KFC Customer Horrified at Finding 'Mold' on Bottom of Zinger Burger

A horrifying experience left a 31-year-old woman in a sickening experience as she discovered a mold on her KFC burger.

A man serves some chicken on rice from his stall at the...

Food Stalls to Stop Serving Ready to Eat Raw Fish Food as GBS Infections Spike

Chinese-style dishes with raw fish will no longer be served as incidents of GBS caused infections continue to rise in Singapore.

grilled bacon sandwich

3 Healthy Snacks That Are Giving You Extra Pounds, Find out What to Splurge on Instead

Experts discovered that some healthy snacks are actually high in calories and are giving one extra pounds. This list reveals three healthy but fattening snacks and the corresponding substitute treats to eat instead.

Food Tech
Soylent Meal Substitute

Soylent Liquid Food: Will This be the Future of Food?

Soylent has been popular in Silicon Valley and has been around for some time. It has found its way to a niche group that enjoys easy living sans the hassle of preparing and cooking food.

Herbal Supplements

Supplements that can Boost Immunity for Better Health

If you feel as though your immune system or overall health needs some support or if you feel a cold or illness coming on, these six supplements do show benefits. When using supplements to support your immune system, you need to answer two important questions: Do you need that supplement? And is your supplement the highest possible quality?

Fighting Obesity: How much should your plate contain?

Fighting Obesity One Plate at a Time: How Much Should You Have on Your Plate?

The battle against obesity can be slightly daunting, but knowing the appropriate plate sizes can make a difference.

Real Time Analytics