'Dark Knight' Actor Tries (and Fails) to Extort Millions from Harvey Weinstein, Among Others

'Dark Knight' Actor Tries (and Fails) to Extort Millions from Harvey Weinstein, Among Others

Aug 23, 2012

Remember the dude who was trying to extort money from Harvey Weinstein, because Harvey probably wears underwear made of $100 bills? Actor (we use the term loosely) and Hollywood extra Vivek Shah — who has appeared in 2008's The Dark Knight as a "Middle Eastern bank hostage" — and apparently loves taking photos with famous people (Angelina looks like a deer in headlights), was arrested at his parents' house this month. His extortion tactics were aimed at producer Weinstein, a Groupon cofounder, two oil execs, and a coal magnate.
 
He threatened to "kill named members of the recipient's family unless a large sum of money was wired to an offshore bank account." It sounds like the plot ripped from a summer blockbuster — and to add to the weirdness, the return address Shah used for his ominous letters belongs to Helen Mirren. Let's all take a moment to fantasize about the age-defying actress reprising her role as an assassin in Red… or something. 
 
All jokes aside, the scariest part in this deranged plot was that after his arrest, authorities discovered Shah was a few days away from attending a handgun training session in Los Angeles. New York Magazine reports that Shah's father called his son "a very good person," and stated that the scheme was motivated by a mysterious, outside influence. "He was pressured by someone, and they threatened they would kill Vivek." The plot thickens!
 
Weinstein and company have taken extra precautions since they're currently working on Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology tale, The Master. It doesn't appear that the L. Ron Hubbard followers are behind the wild story. They'd probably just obsessively photograph and film Weinstein, which they're known to do when people approach their compounds or associates. Grab your popcorn and head to The Smoking Gun if you want more of the nitty gritty.
 

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