Crawford 'blackmailed by model'

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The Independent Online

Cindy Crawford and her husband were the targets of an elaborate blackmail plot involving a photograph that shows their seven-year-old daughter bound, gagged and tied to a chair, the FBI has claimed.

The supermodel was ordered to pay a ransom of $100,000 [£61,000] to prevent the picture, which had been taken by a former nanny during a game of "cops and robbers", being made public, according to court documents filed in Los Angeles.

Eddie Kayalar, a German male model, was charged on Thursday with repeatedly threatening to sell the image to tabloid news organisations. He stole it during a brief relationship with the couple's ex-employee, who has not been named.

Mr Kayalar allegedly claimed to have come into possession of the photograph in a phone call in late August. He claimed to want to give it back in order to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. After returning an original copy of the image, Mr Kayalar was given a gift of $1000 [£610] by Ms Crawford's husband, Rande Gerber, the lawsuit alleges. However he soon demanded more money for copies.

In September, Mr Kayalar was arrested in Los Angeles and deported for breaching his visa. But earlier this month, he once again contacted Mr Gerber, this time from Germany, demanding a further $100,000.

Prosecutors say that Mr Kayalar is now living in Stuttgart. He faces up to two years in jail if convicted of the charges of extortion.