In August, Stuart Jackson, an 81-year old attorney who represented the man responsible for bringing the Smurfs to America in the 80s, was sued for attempting to extort Blackstone execs out of $11.5 million.
Today, Jackson was found not guilty by a Manhattan Supreme Cour, the New York Post reports.
Jackson and Stuart Ross (the man credited with bringing the Smurfs to the States) had been accused of extorting Ross’ son-in-law, David Blitzer, who is the senior managing director of Blackstone.
Court papers documented how Ross, with Jackson’s help, “waged a virulent campaign of menacing emails and threatening, all-hours phone calls” to Blitzer and other execs at Blackstone.
The pair demanded $5.5 million to leave Blitzer and the family alone, and the other $5.5 million to stop contacting Blackstone.
“It should never have been brought in the first place,” Jackson, 81, said of the charges after the verdict was announced. “It was a domestic dispute between father-in-law and son-in-law.’
In court papers, Blitzer had said Ross, who needed money, waged a nasty campaign of menacing emails and… Jackson sent some of the emails on Ross’s behalf. At trial, he said he was acting as Ross’s lawyer, and helping his client as part of their business relationship.
Ross, who despite rolling in millions after licensing The Smurfs, is now reportedly broke, took a no-jail plea a few months ago after he was accused of extortion. He attempted to withdraw the plea in early November.
There are no details on how Ross’ fortune dwindled so fast, but a court ordered him to undergo psychiatric and alcohol treatment after the scandal broke.
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