Two arrested in alleged Stevie Wonder 'blackmail' case

Two arrested in alleged Stevie Wonder 'blackmail' case

Two people have been charged with extortion after being arrested by detectives for allegedly trying to sell embarrassing information about singer Stevie Wonder.

Alpha Walker and his girlfriend Tamara Diaz have been in custody since their arrest on May 2. Both have pleaded not guilty and will appear in court in Los Angeles on May 16 for a hearing in which a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence for them to stand trial.

According to a felony complaint, Walker and Diaz attempted to obtain money from the Grammy-winning musician, who is identified by his birth name, Steveland Morris.

Walker, 38, was on probation at the time of his arrest after pleading no contest to grand theft in May 2011. A judge issued a suspended three-year prison sentence in that case and he is due in court for a probation violation hearing on May 31.

District attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said Walker contacted Wonder’s representatives claiming to have embarrassing information about the musician. Detectives organised a sting and the pair were arrested. Police did not release additional details about their investigation.

Walker identifies himself as Wonder’s nephew and is being held without bail because of another case. Diaz’s bail is set at $95,000.

Diaz was placed on three years’ probation after pleading no contest in February 2011 to possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, court records show.

The case was first reported yesterday by celebrity website TMZ.

More in this Section

X Factor’s LMA Choir sing in support of Black Lives Matter movementX Factor’s LMA Choir sing in support of Black Lives Matter movement

David Walliams writes new book in lockdownDavid Walliams writes new book in lockdown

Strictly could return with stars ‘distancing dancing’, says Shirley BallasStrictly could return with stars ‘distancing dancing’, says Shirley Ballas

Meghan Markle tells students in her old LA school to 'lead with compassion'Meghan Markle tells students in her old LA school to 'lead with compassion'


Lifestyle

Paula Burns talks to five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend. Born out of necessity, with a whole lot of invention - it's the couture face mask.Face masks: Five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend

Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Are we supposed to envy the gowls in Normal People?

Harpers from Cork and beyond have been making the most of online interaction, and a 240-strong ensemble will perform O’Carolan’s ‘Fanny Power’ this weekend, writes Pet O’Connell.Harps for Hope makes online connections to form 240-strong ensemble

A revamp of Disco Pigs may be on hold, but Corcadorca have developed a new socially-distant work for the residents of various housing estates around Cork, writes Marjorie Brennan.Disco Pigs on hold but Corcadorca to go live for Cork Midsummer

More From The Irish Examiner