Paula Deen's blackmailer sentenced to 2 years in prison

Sept. 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
ATLANTA, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Thomas Paculis has been sentenced to two years in a Georgia prison for attempting to blackmail celebrity chef Paula Deen, court records show.

Paculis contacted Deen's attorney, claiming he would release "true and damning" information about Deen's use of the N-word if the TV personality didn't pay him $250,000, prosecutors said.

The FBI arrested Paculis and he was charged with two counts of extortion. He struck a deal with prosecutors last month, agreeing to plead guilty to one count of extortion if prosecutors dropped the remaining charge.

TMZ said Paculis was sentenced Monday to two years behind bars, plus one year of supervised release and 40 hours community service.

Deen, 66, admitted earlier this year in a deposition for a lawsuit she used the racial slur, but later clarified it had been years ago and in reference to an African-American man who robbed her at gunpoint.

The confession sparked a media firestorm and, although Deen apologized for her behavior and insisted she is not a racist, she was fired by the Food Network and lost numerous product endorsement deals.

Topics: Paula Deen
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
Anna Nicole Smith's estate loses bid for ex J. Howard Marshall's millions
Stephanie Jacobsen joins cast of 'NCIS'
Nicki Minaj releases derriere-filled video for 'Anaconda' ft. Drake
Jill Duggar, husband Derick Dillard expecting first child
Jennifer Garner dumps bucket of water on Ben Affleck for ALS
Trending News