The New York Daily News and Bleeding Cool are both reporting that lawyer Stuart Ross, who made millions introducing the Smurf cartoon characters to North America in the 1980s, is accused of trying to extort $11 million from his wealthy son-in-law. Apparently emulating Gargamel, he also threatened his pregnant daughter.
…At one point, Ross told the then-pregnant woman he hoped her child died – and that her gravestone “should be carved with a vile obscenity.”
Ross is claiming to be ill and is also penniless, unable to gather $200,000 for bail, due to what his lawyer terms “bad investments”.
At yesterday’s bail proceeding, Ross – who is essentially homeless and on the brink of divorce – laid out a sob story about his failing health.
“I have leukemia,” he said. “Almost every month I was in the hospital.” He also announced plans to represent himself at trial when a date is set at a hearing scheduled for June 28.
“You want to represent yourself,” [Judge] Wittner told him. “I know you’re a lawyer. You know the risks.”
With a new Smurf movie and related products in the works, Ross will see none of the benefits as he sold off his rights to the Smurf property years ago.
More on this story can be found in the two links above.