Archive for June, 2012
JUNE 28–Former NBA star–and current Golden State Warriors head coach–Mark Jackson was the target of a recent extortion plot allegedly hatched by an ex-stripper with whom he carried on an extramarital affair and shared photos of his genitalia, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The shakedown scheme, which was foiled by the FBI with Jackson’s cooperation, resulted this week in the arrest of Alexis Adams, the former dancer, and her alleged coconspirator, ex-convict Marcus Shaw.
Adams, 28, and Shaw, 40, have been named in felony criminal complaints filed under seal in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California. The duo, whose relationship is unclear, is accused of trying to extort a six-figure payment from Jackson in return for them not disseminating/selling the explicit photos to the “vultures of the media.”
While the complaints refer only to the extortion victim as “V1”–a man the FBI describes as a “prominent member of the public who now works in Oakland, California”–a TSG source familiar with the federal investigation identified the 47-year-old Jackson as the shakedown subject.
A business associate of Jackson told TSG that he spoke this morning with the coach, who confirmed his involvement in the FBI investigation, and that his family and Warriors brass were aware of the federal probe.
The compromising photos were sent by Jackson to Adams about six years ago during the course of an affair that lasted less than a year, according to affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Beth Alvarez. Some of the images showed Jackson “without any clothing and of V1’s genitalia.”
At the time of the affair, Adams “worked as a dancer in gentlemen’s club in New York,” reported Alvarez. Records show that Adams (pictured above) is now a licensed esthetician and recently opened a day spa. When he met Adams, Jackson was working as an announcer with the New Jersey Nets, having retired several years earlier after a 17-season NBA career. He was hired last June as head coach of the Oakland-based Warriors.
Adams, freed from custody after posting $25,000 bond, did not respond to messages sent to two e-mail accounts and her business’s Facebook page. Shaw, a convicted felon, is jailed in advance of a detention hearing scheduled for today. Prosecutors contend that he is a flight risk and a danger to the community, and should be locked up prior to trial.
According to Alvarez’s affidavit, Adams called Jackson’s wife and told her about the affair after the ex-athlete “made clear he did not plan to leave his wife” for the stripper. Adams, Alvarez noted, “also sent some of the compromising photos to V1’s wife.” Despite the revelation of her husband’s infidelity, “V1 and his wife remain married today and that the affair occurred and that the compromising photographs exist are not publicly known.”
Jackson, a father of four, has been married for nearly 22 years to singer Desiree Coleman, with whom he serves as co-pastor of the True Love Worship Center in Los Angeles.
The FBI’s extortion probe began in late-April, a few weeks after Jackson was approached by a stranger at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee (where the Warriors were playing the hometown Grizzlies). The man–who Jackson later identified as Shaw–showed the NBA coach a “folder containing some of the compromising photos” and a CD that he said contained “recordings of voice mail messages” that Jackson “left for Adams during their affair.”
When Jackson asked what he sought for the photos and recordings, Shaw replied, “I want to be made whole.” Shaw, who claimed to have found the compromising material in a storage locker he had purchased for $3500, said he wanted money to fix his teeth and get his car out of an impound lot.
After refusing Shaw’s request to accompany him to the lot (or anywhere else), Jackson eventually gave Shaw $5000 in cash “in exchange for the folder with the photographs and the CD.” Jackson, seen at left, subsequently destroyed the incriminating material.
Shaw is a former Memphis resident who now lives in Atlanta (as does Adams). He spent several years in prison for a 1996 aggravated robbery conviction, records show. In 2005, he was arrested in Georgia for murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and kidnapping, “though the case was ultimately dismissed,” according to Agent Alvarez.
An FBI review of text messages exchanged by the alleged extortionists revealed that on April 3, the day Jackson handed over the $5000, Adams sent Shaw a message stating, “Concentrate and fuck him up! he is a Fake ass man of god,” an apparent reference to Jackson’s work as a ordained minister.
Later that day, Shaw texted Adams to report, “This nigga left me some tickets smh.” The concluding acronym, as pointed out by the FBI, “is a common shorthand for ‘shaking my head,’ indicating disgust or disappointment.” The text from Shaw included a photo of “two tickets to a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies that took place at 7:00 PM on April 3, 2012,” according to the FBI affidavit.
Barely two weeks passed before Jackson was again pressured for money. In an April 20 e-mail sent to his wife’s personal account, Shaw (posing as “Mark Smith”) informed Jackson’s spouse that “if you want to save yourself unnecessary public humiliation” she would have to call him so that she could secure “the first opportunity to buy these photos before I sell them to the public.”
Claiming to be in the “reputation management business,” Shaw described the photos–some of which were attached to the e-mail–as “shocking” and assured Coleman that, “I am not deliberately trying to hurt you, however this is business, nothing personal.” The e-mail to Coleman came from a newly created Gmail account that FBI agents traced via an IP address to Shaw’s Internet service account.
The Gmail account–tencommandment7@ gmail.com–seemed to be a jab at Jackson for committing adultery. Additionally, the account’s profile picture, the FBI reported, “was a photograph of V1 that he had sent to Adams during their affair.”
Spurred by the e-mail to his wife, Jackson apparently contacted law enforcement about the shakedown attempts. Beginning April 25, he corresponded “using an e-mail address created for the sole purpose of pursuing this extortion investigation,” Alvarez reported. Jackson also placed calls to the extortionist that were recorded by the FBI.
After Jackson wrote to ask how much it would take “to make this go away once and for all,” Shaw answered on April 26 that that he was “not in business of playing games, just securing adequate compensation in safeguarding your reputation from your inappropriate actions and behavior as a Christian, husband, father, and public figure. You did this, I just happen to have pictures and voice recordings. My question to you is, what is it worth to you?” He added, “If I wanted to personally humiliate you, I would have already.”
On May 2, Shaw again asked what Jackson was willing to pay to “safeguard yourself from the vultures of the media?” The alleged extortionist also wondered what the Warriors head coach was thinking “when you offered me…lunch money in Memphis. is that what your life is worth?”
Jackson responded that he was “willing to meet your demands,” asking “what do you think about 7 times the original amount? I don’t want to insult you. I just want to put this to rest.”
Countering Jackson’s offer of $35,000 for the photos and phone recordings, Shaw wrote, “I have an offer for $185k from another resource,” adding that he was picking up the hefty payment the following morning. “Yes, you should be very sorry it had to end this way, and from the looks of it, you will be.”
Jackson quickly bumped his offer up to $200,000. “I have the money. I do not want these pictures getting out,” he wrote on May 3.
Shaw replied, “I have considered accepting your offer,” and suggested Jackson “bring cash to my church in Memphis to make the exchange.” Jackson, however, stated that, “I can’t make it out to Memphis right now.” Instead, he offered to send a “business associate” (surely an undercover FBI agent) to hand deliver a $50,000 “good faith payment.”
But Shaw, pictured in the mug shot at right, would have none of it. “This is your idea of taking care of business as soon as possible? You would actually gamble on your livelihood with images you initiated as acts of adultery, indecent exposure, and lewd,” he wrote on May 5. “Are you kidding me? I’m not meeting your guy or meeting you a second time. You should be thanking me for accepting YOUR offer.”
The last e-mail quoted in the FBI affidavit was sent by Jackson on May 7. Noting that he was not trying to drag negotiations out, the basketball figure stated, “I don’t want anyone knowing about this except the ones who already know. I realize that I am not in a position to call the shots but I am asking you to work with me. You will not be sorry when you have the money in hand.”
After the e-mail correspondence apparently ceased, FBI agents were able to identify Shaw via grand jury subpoenas served on Google, Sprint, and Comcast. When federal investigators subsequently showed Jackson a Tennessee driver’s license photo of the man behind tencommandment7@ gmail.com, he “identified Shaw as the individual who approached him in the hotel in Memphis on April 3.”
A further review of telephone records indicated that Shaw and Adams “exchanged numerous calls and text messages while Shaw was carrying out his extortion plot” against Jackson. On the April day that Shaw set as a deadline for Jackson’s wife to respond to his e-mail solicitation, he sent Adams a text stating, “It feels like it’s going to be a busy day lol.” (10 pages)
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When news of Tia Mowry and Pooch Hall’s exit from The Game emerged, many suspected that the end was near for the show. Since the show’s premise revolved around the duo’s characters (Melanie and Derwin), it was hard to imagine how BET could continue the football centered series in their absence. But apparently, the network has no intention to cancel The Game, and have cast two new faces to fill the void that will be left by Tia and Pooch’s absence. One of the new faces is actor Jay Ellis, whose credits include very small roles on television shows like How I Met Your Mother and Grey’s Anatomy.
“He will play Blue, a running back and the No.1 draft pick from an Ivy League school who is highly educated and often the smartest person in the room. But even though he is bright, he is still a young man who has a lot to learn about life, love and himself.”
Lauren London will also join the cast next season, filling the empty stilettos left behind by Tia. According to TV Line, the ATL actress will play Kiera, a former child star who is currently appearing in a Cosby Show-esque sitcom. Apparently, Lauren’s character will hook up with Jay’s character on the show. It will be interesting to see how fans react to the new casting choices. What do you think of BET’s decision to continue airing the show despite the loss of its two main characters?
It is a sad day for “Basketball Wives” star Jennifer Williams, whose Bentley was repossessed and is ready to be auctioned off. Williams was previously sued by the Toyota Motor Credit Corporation for failure of payment, reports TMZ.
According to the report, it isn’t quite Jennifer’s fault. Ex-Husband–Eric Wiliams– stopped making payments on the automobile and when Jen found out, asked him to come get the vehicle.
Welp, too late now!