CHICAGO -- New York Yankees star Gary Sheffield and his wife
were the targets of a blackmailer who claimed to have embarrassing
sexual videotapes of her and a musician, the slugger's business
agent said Tuesday.
"I will not be blackmailed. I will not have my family dragged
through the mud and filth," Sheffield said in a statement read by
his Chicago-based business agent, Rufus Williams.
The Yankees outfielder said his wife, DeLeon, "had a long-term
relationship with a well known professional singer over 10 years
ago." Sheffield said he had known about the relationship, which
occured before the couple married.
"I have not seen the alleged videotape, nor do I care to,"
Sheffield said in the statement. "I love my wife and I vow again
to stand by her through any trial or tribulation."
Sheffield said he hoped "the FBI and the federal authorities
will prosecute this man to the full extent of the law."
Derrick Mosley, 38, a Chicago man who describes himself as a
minister and has fashioned himself as a community activist, was
charged Monday with operating a scheme to defraud for allegedly
attempting to extort money from a professional athlete, who was not
Mosley was in custody Tuesday pending a Thursday bond hearing.
His attorney, Luis Galvan, had no immediate comment after his
arrest. A message left at his office after Sheffield's statement
was released was not immediately returned.
Sheffield said in his statement that he was out of the country,
would not be available for comment and would never discuss it
Williams described Tuesday how he had been contacted earlier
this month by Mosley about a videotape purported to show
Sheffield's wife. He said he called the FBI immediately.
"My client is very comfortable with the position he is in, and
his wife is very comfortable with the position she is in,"
Williams said. "They have a very strong bond."
Neither Williams nor the FBI affidavit accompanying charges
against Mosley identified the musician.
The FBI affidavit referred only to a professional athlete and
his wife, and did not say whether the videotapes actually existed
or whether Mosley's alleged remarks might have been part of a
The affidavit said Mosley claimed to have two videos that were
delivered anonymously to his office. It said he claimed that the
tapes depicted the athlete's wife with a musician and an
Williams said he had not seen any such videotape.
According to that affidavit, Mosley first contacted Williams on
Nov. 3, and Williams secretly taped several conversations with him
over the next week.
In the first conversation, "Mosley stated that he was very
upset and concerned about the tapes," the affidavit says. "Mosley
further stated that he wished to speak to Individual A about reform
and her moral standing."
Mosley later suggested he be hired for $20,000 to serve as a
counselor for the athlete's wife and said he would destroy the
tapes, according to the affidavit. At one point he told Williams
"someone else would have called the tabloids and could have made
millions," according to the affidavit.
Finally, on Nov. 11, Mosley called Williams and said he wanted
$20,000 immediately and provided Williams with a bank account
number and said the money should be sent by wire, according to the
affidavit. Mosley was arrested four days later.
Mosley is known in the Chicago area for stepping in as a
spokesman for families hit by tragedies and speaking as a community
activist after the E2 nightclub stampede last year. He was charged
with bank fraud in 1999, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one
year and placed on probation for five years.