July 6th, 2013
03:00 PM ET
Share this on:

FBI agents on Friday morning arrested a 62-year-old man who, they say, tried to extort Paula Deen by threatening to divulge "true and damning" information about the embattled celebrity chef - unless he was paid to keep quiet.

Thomas George Paculis was taken into custody without incident in Ithaca, New York, by FBI agents and deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office, the FBI said in a press release.

There was no answer later Friday to a phone number linked to him in the FBI's criminal complaint, nor was there an immediate response from an e-mail address in that same document.

The former Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, resident appeared before a federal judge Friday in New York before being released on bond at about noon, said Stephen Emmett with the FBI's Atlanta office.

He is scheduled to appear the morning of July 16 at a federal court in Savannah, where the criminal complaint was filed.

That coastal Georgia city is also where Deen built her business and brand into what many consider the folksy face of Southern cooking.

But she's been on her heels in recent weeks after admitting, in a deposition related to a lawsuit brought by a former employee, that she's used the "N word" in the past.

Previously:
Paula Deen and Southern food: Critics say credit is past due
Paula Deen's upcoming cookbook canceled
Paula Deen's testimony transcript
Paula Deen issues video apology, is dropped by Food Network
Paula Deen – From the frying pan to the firestorm
Comfort food, uncomfortable topics

Posted by:
Filed under: Paula Deen


soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. EBT CAUSES OBESITY

    not one comment see people are quick to judgement especially cnn

    July 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • AleeD® From Home Sweet Home

      Now there are two.

      July 7, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Pinterest
 
| Part of
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,922 other followers