Court Documents Claim Cindy Crawford, Husband Targeted in Extortion Scheme
Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford
A German man was charged with allegedly trying to extort $100,000 from Cindy Crawford and her entrepreneur husband, Rande Gerber, over a photograph of their daughter bound to a chair and gagged, authorities told The Associated Press.
See photos of Crawford
Authorities said Edis Kayalar, 26, was recently deported to Germany and has not yet been arrested. He was charged with one count of extortion and could face up to two years in prison.
The photo of Crawford's daughter, who was then 7 years old, showed the girl bound to a chair wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and was purportedly taken by the couple's former nanny earlier this year.
According to court documents obtained by the AP, the daughter said the photo was taken as part of a cops-and-robbers game.
According to the affidavit, Kayalar stole the photo from the nanny and tried repeatedly to get money from Crawford and Gerber since July.
When Gerber met him at a bar, according to the affidavit, Kayalar showed him a copy of the photo and said he also took a handwritten note from the nanny's apartment that read, "The babysitter went crazy and tied everyone up and they need your help! Please." The nanny said she was going to post the note and photo on the family's front door as a joke, but never went through with it.
Kayalar initially said he wanted to return the photo because he was a good person and didn't want the tabloids to publish it, according to the affidavit. Gerber gave Kayalar $1,000 in cash "for his trouble."
But Kayalar is accused of demanding more money by saying he had another copy of the photo.
"He believed he could have received $500,000 from the tabloids for the photograph and that he deserved more money from [Crawford and Gerber]," the court documents said. After being taken into federal custody for an immigration violation three months ago, Kayalar called the couple again on Nov. 1 and threatened to sell or release the photo to the media if he didn't get $100,000.
"Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford intend to pursue any and all available legal action against anyone who aids the perpetrator in the distribution or sale of the photograph of their daughter," Crawford's spokeswoman, Annett Wolf, said in a statement.
Crawford and Gerber also have a 10-year-old son together.