David Hans Schmidt Commits Suicide: Tom Cruise Extortionist Dead
Sep 29, 2007
The man that pleaded guilty in a plot to extort $1 million from actor Tom Cruise using stolen wedding photos was found dead on Friday. The 47-year-old Schmidt was found in a shower stall at a North 21st street condominium in Phoenix, AZ. "He hung himself, and the shower stall was so small, he had to squat to get the job done," a source familiar with the situation told the National Enquirer.
According to the Arizona republic, police found David Hans Schmidt dead around 3 p.m. on the 4300 block of N. 21st Street.Schmidt was on house arrest and had not checked in, Lt. Anthony Lopez said. Authorities went to the home when they noticed a tracker placed on him had not moved.
According to the Enquirer, Schmidt was facing up to two years in prison. He was contacted by Marc Lewis Gittleman, 33, who had obtained the wedding photos after recovering them from a damaged computer hard drive brought in to his place of employment for repair by a photographer. Schmidt emailed Cruise with samples of the photos, and asked for more than $1 million to keep them off the market.
Schmidt had brokered some of Hollywood's most infamous deals in recent years, including the Dustin Diamond (Screech on "Saved By the Bell") sex tape, Tonya Harding honeymoon sex tape, Paula Jones nude photos, a Colin Farrel sex tape, compromising photos of Jamie Foxx and other top-shelf scandals.
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