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Published: Friday, 7/27/2007

Man who allegedly wanted money not to publish Cruise-Holmes photos arrested


LOS ANGELES - An Arizona man who allegedly demanded more than $1 million not to publish Tom Cruise's stolen wedding photographs has been arrested, the actor's lawyer said yesterday.

David Hans Schmidt, known for brokering deals involving compromising celebrity photos and videos, approached Mr. Cruise's representatives about six weeks ago with photos from the actor's Italian wedding last year to Katie Holmes, attorney Bertram Fields said. The FBI was contacted.

"He was looking for money, lots of money," Mr. Fields said.

Mr. Schmidt, 47, was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, said FBI spokesman Laura Eimiller. She said the criminal complaint charging Mr. Schmidt was under seal in federal court and refused to comment.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles, said a judge set bond at $100,000. Mr. Schmidt was being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, according to jail records.

Over the years, Mr. Schmidt also has claimed to have brokered deals to sell a sex video of Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on Saved by the Bell, and a video of former U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding's wedding night, according to published reports. He also claimed to have obtained topless shots of rescued U.S. Army prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch.

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