Celebrity’s blackmailer given gagging order

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Dec 22, 2017
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In the High Court Mr Justice Warby said that the anonymous entertainer had been told to pay £50,000 or allegations of a “very serious” criminal offence would be made public

Niklas Halle'N/AFP/Getty Images

A well-known entertainer has won a High Court order preventing a blackmailer from publishing allegations of “serious criminal misconduct”.

Mr Justice Warby said that earlier this month representatives of the man, only identified as LJY, received a letter that gave no clue to the writer’s identity but purported to be from a “highly discreet organisation”. It claimed that one of its “clients” had alleged that LJY had committed a “very serious” criminal offence against her some years ago but did not give any details. It said the story was highly convincing and “would be similarly convincing to the authorities or the press”.

Giving his ruling in London, the judge said the letter suggested that the alleged offence caused the “client” to lose out on financial opportunities and sought “financial recompense” of £50,000. A four-day deadline was given, with a discount offered for early settlement. The letter said that if LJY did not pay, the details of the case would be released via news agencies and online resources.

It went on: “In the current political and social environment we feel sure you will understand that this will have lasting damage to your career, your reputation and your personal life. This would in turn almost certainly hurt you more than the modest financial settlement we are seeking.”

Despite the letter warning him not to, LJY asked his representatives to contact the police and his solicitors. The police are understood to believe it was a “scam” and said that six identically-worded letters had been sent to individuals, although LJY was the first well-known victim.

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