Just when you thought this Blackstone extortion case couldn’t get any stranger, we learn that the Smurfs are involved. Yeah, those Smurfs (as if there are other ones).
For the uninitiated, a man named Stuart Ross last week was arrested for trying to extort $11 million from David Blitzer, a senior managing director with Blackstone Group who is married to Ross’ estranged daughter. He was released on $2,500 bail Saturday morning, and apparently believes the entire thing is a Blackstone-conceived plot to “crush” him. As he put it outside the courtroom: “This was a preconceived operation by Blackstone to show its strength.”
Ummm… Ok. A firm worth billions of dollars – which could buy and sell most of us – feels the need to flex its muscles at the expense of an elderly non-practicing attorney. If that were the case, Schwarzman could have just asked him to play piñata at next year’s birthday bash.
Anyway, back to the Smurfs. Seems Ross hasn’t always been hard up for money. Back in the day, he made a fortune off licensing rights to the little blue guys (and one special lady), but has since squandered it. Too bad the Smurfs aren’t still popular (I blame The Snorks) – with a little makeup and hair dye, Ross could work as a double for Gargamel: