These are not the best of days for Stevie Wonder. There are reports that Stevie’s cousin and his girlfriend attempted to blackmail the singer out of millions of dollars. The pair are accused of planning a video where they rat out Stevie for the manner in which he treats his own family.
Superior Court Judge Ray Jurado ruled that a jury should now decide if Alpha L. Walker and his girlfriend Tamara E. Diaz were trying to extort Wonder by telling him that they would release the video if they were not paid.
The two have been in jail since the allegations were released on May 2nd. They were arrested during a sting operation by the LAPD. The couple was sucked in with a $10,000 down payment, with the promise of another $500,000 if they delivered the evidence.
Attorneys for Wonder’s cousin, Alpha, are stating that enough evidence has not yet been presented to the jury. Ian Wallach, who represents Walker, says that his client’s actions are protected by the First Amendment, and that he can talk about Wonder on video if he wants to. The video is described as an 80 minute commentary by Walker about the things that irk him about Stevie.
Some of the pieces of the video were shot in the home of Wonder’s late mother and show images of Wonder’s son. Walker accuses Wonder of being a slumlord and said nasty things about his mother. They have both pleaded not guilty.
“It was a continuous rant about the injustices that had been done to him – in his opinion – by Mr. Morris and that Mr. Morris was the cause of him having all of these issues in his life,” Los Angeles Police Detective Tracey Benjamin testified.
Stevie said that he is hurt by the allegations. He also said that paying his cousin money or going to the police were his only options.
“He explained that when something like this is released to the media, it is presumed to be true,” Benjamin said.
Walker started off asking for $5 million for the footage, but instead settled for $500,000. He also made claims that Wonder had possibly “engaged in an incestuous relationship.”