Alpha Walker and his girlfriend Tamara Diaz reach plea deal and are freed from jail
A couple charged with trying to blackmail legendary soul singer Stevie Wonder for $5 million (£3.1 million) have been freed from prison after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors, according to reports.
Alpha Walker and his girlfriend, Tamara Diaz, were accused of attempting to extort money from Wonder after they filmed and tried to sell a video which was described by the police as an 80-minute rant against the singer which portrayed him in a negative light.
The pair’s video featured footage of Wonder’s childhood home and his son, but they were arrested in May after his attorney arranged a sting and subsequently alleged that Walker – who also falsely claimed that he was related to Wonder – had demanded a large amount of cash for the video.
The duo were sentenced to 292 days in prison and three years of probation but, according to Rolling Stone, had already served enough jail time waiting for the trial that they were eligible for release. They have also been ordered to stay away from Wonder and his associates for the duration of their probation term, while Walker must attend mental health counseling and Diaz will undergo Narcotics Anonymous sessions.
According to Walker’s attorney Ian Wallach, the deal was agreed because prosecutors found it difficult to prove the extortion and charges. He also claimed that the charges could be reduced to misdeameanours and even expunged in the future if they comply with their release terms.
Wonder, who released his 23rd studio album ‘A Time To Love’ in 2005, headlined this year’s Bestival. Earlier this month, he apologized for suggesting that fellow singer Frank Ocean, who publicly revealed that his first love had been a man earlier this year, might be “confused” about his sexuality and insisted his comments had been “misunderstood”.