A woman stalked and shook down New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, getting him to pay her $6,000 and demanding more by threatening to harm his reputation, prosecutors said Thursday.
The case represents "a long-term effort to control and manipulate the victim," Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eric Iverson told a judge as Louise Neathway, 36, was arraigned on grand larceny, stalking and harassment charges.
Her lawyers said Cashman had had "an inappropriate relationship" with Neathway, a medical sales worker and single mother of a 14-year-old daughter, and he turned on her when it ended badly.
"The Manhattan district attorney's office bought his account of how this happened, hook, line and sinker," lawyer Stephen G. McCarthy said. He and fellow Neathway lawyer Alan M. Abramson said Neathway denied the allegations.
Cashman said through spokesman Chris Giglio that he is "very grateful that this matter is in the hands of law enforcement."
The Yankees declined to comment.
Neathway — who has a history of arrests on similar charges, prosecutors said — sometimes called and texted Cashman more than 10 times a night and threatened to harm someone he knew, prosecutors said.
After he told her last April that he didn't want to talk to her anymore and even changed his contact information to avoid her, she asked him to pay for a $15,000-plus medical procedure and threatened to contact the press and his family with claims that would hurt his personal relationships and professional standing, according to a court complaint.
In response, he put $6,000 into two of her bank accounts Jan. 18 and tried again to extricate himself, but she instead demanded more money for operations, the complaint said.
A British native who also goes by Louise Meanwell, Neathway has a record that goes back to a 1998 trespassing arrest in North Carolina, Iverson told a judge. She's still on probation stemming from a 2008 trespassing conviction in a New Jersey case that involved allegations of stalking and sending someone as many as 200 text messages in a weekend, and she has an open 2010 Manhattan harassment case, Iverson said.
McCarthy noted in court that the Manhattan case had been put on track to be dismissed, and he suggested prosecutors were making too much of the New Jersey case.
As for the current case, "it would be unfair to all of the parties involved to speculate about what occurred," he and Abramson said in a written statement.
Neathway was being held on $300,000 bond. Her next court date is Tuesday.
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