New York Post gossip writer off the hook

The New York Post gossip writer who, it was alleged, tried to extort several thousand dollars from a wealthy California businessman in return for keeping negative stories about him out of the paper is off the hook.

The federal authorities have dropped all charges against the writer, Jared Paul Stern. The reason: insufficient evidence.

However Stern – now his name has been cleared – is retaliating. He himself is planning to file a suit against Ron Burkle, the wealthy grocery store magnate who made the original claim that the gossip writer was trying to hold him to ransom.

Burkle even produced a videotape in which Stern allegedly demanded $100,000 upfront and a $10,000 a month retainer from the multi-millionaire. Stern denied the charges. However the NY Post dropped Stern from the page. He is still unemployed, he claims.

He says that he plans to sue Burkle for defamation. Burkle, a friend of former president Bill Clinton,, has a reputation in California for his lavish parties – often attended by young fashion models.He often complained to editors – including the editor of the NY Post – about the stories they ran about him.

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