General News

Lawyer cleared of extortion in Smurfs case

By:
Dec 01, 2010 | 9:15am EST

Stuart Jackson, the lawyer for Stuart Ross, who brought the blue cartoon Smurfs to the U.S. in the 1980s, was acquitted of two felony charges by a New York jury on Tuesday (30Nov10).

Ross previously admitted he had threatened to destroy Blackstone Group executive David Blitzer's reputation in 2008 unless he was paid $5.5 million (£3.7 million). He then demanded a further $5.5 million to give up his rights as a grandparent to the baby his daughter Allison, Blitzer's wife, was expecting.

Jackson faced up to seven years in prison if he was convicted at trial for his involvement in the case.

Meanwhile, Ross, who pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny charges in August (10), could face a trial of his own after filing motions to withdraw his plea last month (Oct10).

The mogul, who made millions in the 1970s and '80s after winning over American kids with the family of blue creatures, claims the plea was entered under duress when he was incarcerated and battling cancer.

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