(Photograph: Twitter/Mark Jackson)
Mark Jackson, Golden State Warriors head coach who serves as the full time pastor of True Love Worship Center International in Van Nuys, Calif., has recently made headlines for being the victim of an extortion plot stemming from an extramarital affair.
Jackson, 47, cooperated with the FBI this week to stop the alleged extortion plot created by 28-year-old former exotic dancer Alexis Adams and her 40-year-old ex-convict alleged partner in crime, Marcus Shaw. The duo reportedly attempted to blackmail the Warriors coach for six figures after threatening to expose his infidelities with Adams to his wife, according to The Smoking Gun.
The NBA coach and pastor reportedly became involved with Adams six years ago, when she was dancing at a gentlemen's club in New York and he was working as an announcer for the New Jersey Nets. Although the reported relationship between the two only lasted less than one year, Adams chose to contact Jackson's wife, gospel singer Desiree Coleman who now co-pastors with him at True Love Worship Center.
While the pair remain married after 22 years despite the incident that took place six years ago, Shaw allegedly approached Jackson with images and voice mail recordings that served as proof of his affair. While Shaw reportedly told Jackson that he had come across the materials in a storage locker, the former NBA announcer gave the man $5,000 in exchange for the materials that he later destroyed.
The FBI found that Shaw had been working with Adams to allegedly extort Jackson, who later told her co-conspirator to target him, whom she called "a fake (expletive) man of God," The Smoking Gun reports. Although Jackson reportedly gave Shaw tickets to an April 3 Golden State Warriors game in addition to the money, the alleged extortionist began to threaten the pastor's wife with public humiliation if he did not receive more money.
When Jackson asked Shaw what it would take "to make this go away once and for all," the alleged extortionist responded by blaming the pastor for not acting as a Christian and husband.
"(I'm) not in business of playing games, just securing adequate compensation in safeguarding your reputation from your inappropriate actions and behavior as a Christian, husband, father, and public figure," Shaw responded from the Gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org. "You did this, I just happen to have pictures and voice recordings. My question to you is, what is it worth to you? If I wanted to personally humiliate you, I would have already."
Jackson decided to speak to his Golden State Warriors organization about the blackmail taking place, and the team reportedly contacted the FBI. The federal bureau traced the IP address of Shaw's email to the ex-convict and realized that he was in cahoots with Adams.
The authorities arrested Adams, who was later released on $25,000 bail, and Shaw who remains in custody since he has a prior conviction stemming from aggravated robbery, NBA.com reports. Jackson released a statement, saying paying Shaw was "a terrible lapse in judgment and a course of action I would not recommend to anyone."
"I recognize the extremely poor judgment that I used both in having an affair six years ago – including the embarrassing communication I exhibited during that time – and in attempting to deal with the extortion scheme at first by myself," Jackson said in the statement. "I made some egregious errors. I apologize for any embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends and, of course, the Warriors."
The Warriors coach, who finished his first season as a head coach with a 23-43 record, said he was not serving as pastor at the time of his infidelities and apologized to his congregation for the controversy.
"At that time in my life, I was not pastoring. Three years ago, my wife and I established a ministry," Jackson said. "With deepest regret, I want to apologize to my church family. I was wrong. We must live holy."