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    Oprah Sued by Alleged Extorter

    Oprah Winfrey Dave Hogan/Getty Images

    Here's someone who would have preferred not getting a shout-out from the Queen of Daytime.

    A Louisiana man who was once accused of trying to extort money from Oprah Winfrey has filed a defamation lawsuit against the talk-show host, claiming that Winfrey's allegations severely damaged his reputation.

    Keifer Bonvillain, who agreed to perform 50 hours of community service, pay $3,000 in restitution and undergo drug testing in order to avoid jail time, is seeking $180 million in damages.

    "There was substantial damage done to my name and reputation on a world level," his complaint states. "The extent of my damages is vast." The federal charges against him were dismissed a year later, according to the suit.

    Bonvillain was charged in January 2007 with recording phone conversations between him and an employee from Winfrey's Harpo Productions and threatening to write a book based on the dirt he supposedly dug up—unless, according to the FBI, someone cut him a check.

    He was arrested Dec. 15, 2006, after another Harpo associate agreed to pay him $1.5 million. Bonvillain was wired $3,000 in advance and then busted when he showed up to collect the rest.

    Meanwhile, an attorney for Harpo denies any wrongdoing on Winfrey's part.

    "And we know that this whole episode started when the plaintiff wiretapped a Harpo employee in California," lawyer Chip Babcock told the Associated Press. "We advised [the plaintiff] we believe that wiretapping was illegal, and this case will give us an opportunity to determine whether we were right about that."



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