Man Pleads Guilty in 'Babyface' Extortion Case
INDIANAPOLIS – A man claiming to be Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds' illegitimate son will spend six months in a halfway house after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor intimidation charge for trying to extort $9 million from the Grammy-winning musician.
John Travis Clark, 24, also was sentenced to six months probation as part of the plea agreement filed Thursday in Marion Superior Court.
Clark, who has already spent 98 days in jail since his arrest in May, was charged this spring after he contacted an attorney for the singer and threatened to go public with his story.
He offered to "keep his mouth shut" in exchange for $20 million, according to court documents.
Clark later lowered his demand to $9 million and met with attorney William Briggs at an Indianapolis restaurant on May 19.
During the meeting, Clark read and signed a fake but detailed 8-page nondisclosure statement the attorney had drawn up. He then accepted a bogus check for $9 million and was arrested as he left.
Clark will get credit toward his sentence for the three months he's spent in jail awaiting a trial.
"I want to make it emphatically clear that John Clark is not my son," Edmonds, who did not attend the hearing, said in a statement. "John Travis Clark sought to ruin my reputation by broadcasting his lies to the entire country, which would not only destroy my family but would resonate loudly in the music industry."
Edmonds' hits as a singer include "Whip Appeal" and "Change the World." He has also written hits for Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Bobby Brown and others.