MAN WHO EXTORTED TOM CRUISE COMMITS SUICIDE

Published on: September 28, 2007
MAN WHO EXTORTED TOM CRUISE COMMITS SUICIDE

David Hans Schmidt, a celebrity story and photo broker who pled guilty in an extortion scandal involving Tom Cruise, has committed suicide, The NATIONAL ENQUIRER has learned. The 47-year-old Schmidt was found in a shower stall at a North 21st street condominium in Phoenix, AZ. "He hung himself, and the shower stall was so small, he had to squat to get the job done," a source familiar with the situation said. Schmidt asked Cruise for $1 million to return stolen wedding photos and was arrested in July. He pled guilty to transmitting threatening communications with the intent to extort. Schmidt was facing up to two years in prison. He was contacted by Marc Lewis Gittleman, 33, who had obtained the wedding photos after recovering them from a damaged computer hard drive brought in to his place of employment for repair by a photographer. Schmidt emailed Cruise with samples of the photos, and asked for more than $1 million to keep them off the market. But Cruise's reps set up a sting with the FBI and Schmidt was arrested in July. Schmidt had brokered some of Hollywood's most infamous deals in recent years, including the Dustin Diamond (Screech on "Saved By the Bell") sex tape, Tonya Harding honeymoon sex tape, Paula Jones nude photos, a Colin Farrel sex tape, compromising photos of Jamie Foxx and other top-shelf scandals.