Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Suspect in Cindy Crawford extortion case surrenders in Germany

November 17, 2009 |  7:29 am

Kayalar A former German model accused of trying to extort $100,000 from Cindy Crawford and her husband was taken into custody by German authorities.

U.S. authorities last week charged the man after he allegedly threatened to hand over to the media a photo of the couple's then-7-year-old daughter gagged and tied to a chair.

Edis "Eddie" Kayalar, walked into a police station in Stuttgart, Germany, on Monday.

According to an FBI affidavit, Crawford and her husband, entrepreneur Rande Gerber, first got a call from Kayalar in July. The man told them he had a "sexy" photograph of their daughter in revealing clothing, and later asked to meet.

Kayalar told Gerber that he stole the photo from the child's nanny, who had recently been fired by the couple. According to the affidavit, the nanny, who was not named, showed him the photo and said: "Do you know how much this picture is worth?"

Kayalar initially asked Crawford and Gerber for an unspecified amount of money, saying he was broke and that he could get a lot of money by selling the photo to the tabloids. Gerber took the photo and gave Kayalar $1,000 in cash "for his trouble," the affidavit stated.

When the man called again demanding more money, saying he had another copy of the photograph, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement and determined that Kayalar was in the United States illegally. He was arrested and deported in September but continued his threats from Germany, later asking for $100,000.

Crawford and Gerber released a statement saying the photo was taken by the nanny as part of "a purported game," and that they "intend to pursue any and all available legal action against anyone who aids the perpetrator in the distribution or sale of the photograph of their daughter."

-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Edis "Eddie" Kayalar, seen in an undated photo, was charged by U.S. authorities last week with trying to extort money from Cindy Crawford and her husband. Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Cooler weather expected to aid firefighters battling blaze near San Juan Capistrano

L.A. Council to discuss billboards amid calls to have digital signs removed

City Council expected to pick Charlie Beck as police chief this morning

Police search for gunman who fired shots in Sherman Oaks home