David Hans Schmidt, aka the "Sultan of Sleaze," has finally learned what the potential consequences are of peddling his shadily procured wares back to their original owners. Having attempted to shake down Tom Cruise with stolen photos from Cruise's lavishly mounted Italian fairytale wedding, a guilty-pleading Schmidt is finally looking at serving up to two years of hard time. Extra reports:
He's pleading guilty to one count of transmitting threatening communications with the intent to extort. When sentenced, he will face up to two years in prison, one year of supervised release and a substantial monetary fine.
Also revealed in the papers: in June 2007, Schmidt met with [Tom] Cruise's representatives and told them, "It would not look good for anyone if the photographs become public."
Later, during a July 2007 meeting, Schmidt told Cruise's representatives that he would "hunt down to hell and back anyone who crossed him."
While we're comfortable in the knowledge that justice has been duly served, something about Schmidt's threatening overtures towards Cruise's camp in June have left us extremely curious as to just what kind of sensitive material might have been contained in the purloined portraits. Short of a telephoto shot accidentally revealing the inner circuitry of the Suri-bot, we'd be hard pressed to envision a single scenario captured at this happy occasion that might shed an unflattering light, up to and including the unshackling of the war bride for the couple's ceremonial first "Silent Dance," performed before the gathered crowd to the hushed strains of an instrument-miming OT orchestra.