Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano was the target of an extortion attempt by a former high school classmate. According to the Meriden (Conn.) Record-Journal, Christian Bedard, 36, contacted Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, claiming he had a three-year “emotional and physical relationship” with the big league pitcher while the two where in high school. From the Record-Journal:
DeGennaro called Bedard’s contention that he had a relationship with Pavano “clearly false” and an attempt to “extort her family,” according to the affidavit. Bedard told DeGennaro that he had a $1.2 million book deal.
“That is my best offer, an apology and a Land Rover and I’ll kill the project,” Bedard wrote.
In a later message, Bedard said he rescinded the offer and said “the book is the best deal.”
Pavano married model Alissa Zandy in December.
Interestingly, it was Pavano's sister, not Pavano, who went to the police. Pavano has not denied the allegation, though his family has.
We've long speculated that the first out athlete in one of the big U.S. sports leagues could be outed by a jilted lover. And we've had incidents in the past when we've seen attempts like that. In 2010 we reported on claims by a man that he had a relationship with Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli. Former St. Louis Blues center Mike Danton spent five years in jail for hiring someone to kill his agent (and alleged lover) David Frost.
I have no idea if the claim about Pavano's relationship are true. I do know we've heard this kind of thing about many other pro athletes who allegedly "dabbled" in high school or college. I doubt Pavano would ever tell us if he did.
Hat tip to Charley S.
PHOTO: Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Carl Pavano (48) looks on from the dug out in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE