The failed Oprah blackmail plot? The FBI was involved in setting up a sting to catch a man allegedly trying to blackmail Oprah Winfrey’s company over recorded phone calls he said would “not destroy but hurt” her reputation. Keifer Bonvillain was arrested Dec. 15 in Atlanta after reportedly trying to extort money from a victim who goes unnamed in the FBI’s report, but who is identified as “a public figure and the owner of a Chicago-based company.” Over the weekend, the Chicago Tribune said the figure was Oprah, and reported that Bonvillain was asking for $1.5 million in exchange for keeping recordings he’d made of conversations with an Oprah employee private. He’d e-mailed and written Oprah about the tapes, but was finally arrested after an Oprah representative, who was working with the FBI, wired him $3,000 good-faith money toward the full blackmail payment. (Associated Press, Chicago Tribune)
How good is the villain’s name?