- (Photo: Facebook/Paula Deen)
Paula Deen, 66, was the victim of an extortion plot recently and now the man who threatened the former Food Network cooking show host may be facing jail time.
Thomas George Paculis, 62, attempted to bribe Deen shortly after she admitted to using the "N word" in a deposition last May. Deen's admission came after one of her former restaurant employees alleged that she made racial jokes at the establishment.
Paculis attempted to threaten Deen after he alleged that he would unearth some damaging evidence concerning her behavior in the wake of her being accused of racism. Pasculis asked for $250,000 for his silence, while Deen's lawyer offered him $200,000, The Huffington Post reports.
However, Deen's extortionist recently went in front of a U.S. District Court judge Friday to admit that he was guilty of using interstate communications to try to extort money. Paculis was arrested last July in New York City and is facing up to two years in federal prison.
A sentencing date for Paculis has yet to be set, but he admitted to using "bad judgment" in attempting to extort Deen, according to The Huffington Post. Although Deen may have won the battle against her extortionist, she has lost a number of high profile business deals.
Deen was dropped by a number of sponsors including Wal-Mart, JCPenney, Walgreens, QVC and The Food Network. Deen made $18 million from her multiple business ventures in 2012.
The cook appeared on the "Today" show earlier this summer and said she did not feel she should have been dropped by her varied business associates.
"Would I have fired me? No. Knowing me? No," she said.
The cook is more upset about the loss of her reputation than potential earnings, People magazine reported.
"She isn't upset about the loss of money," a source told the entertainment publication. "She's really upset about her reputation."