JPS will not be indicted in the Ron Burkle-Page Six scandal.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A former contributor to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column who was accused of trying to shake down a billionaire in exchange for good press will not be charged in the case. The case involving Jared Paul Stern was being closed, said an individual familiar with the federal investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not made public yet. Stern's lawyer confirmed that his client would not be indicted.
California billionaire Ronald Burkle, who has given millions of dollars to political causes and is known for his investments in supermarkets, said Stern demanded $100,000 and a $10,000 monthly stipend to make negative stories about him stop.
Stern had repeatedly denied the charges, saying he was innocent. He Tuesday that he was thankful but that the saga had left his life in tatters.
"It is definitely a relief," Stern said. "But I'm still basically in the same situation vis-a-vis my life being ruined. I never really believed that I'd end up in court. It was a smear campaign. But it was a success. I got fired and vilified and all of that."
"We have said from day one that this was a campaign to spread lies based on false accusations fueled by Burkle's personal vendetta against the New York Post, and that there was never any evidence of wrongdoing on Mr. Stern's part," Stern's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said in a statement.
A message left for Frank Quintero, a Burkle spokesman, was not immediately returned.