A blackmailer who tried to extort Almeria’s biggest celebrity with ‘compromising images’ of the star has been jailed. The man was sentenced to nine months for demanding cash from singer David Bisbal in return for not releasing the images publicly.
The Grammy-winning, platinum-selling star, one of Spain’s most celebrated pop exports, brought a private case against the man, named in the Almeria court as 34-year-old Oscar B.
The man, who has a lengthy criminal record, had managed to get a hold of the Almeria-born singer’s private mobile phone number. He went through the star’s contacts, identified which ones he had an intimate or close relationship with, and asked them for photos, pretending to be Bisbal himself.
Alarmed by the change in tone and strange requests, his friends contacted Bisbal separately, shocking him with the news that he was being impersonated. The 37-year-old singer then received an email from Oscar B, claiming to have ‘incriminating evidence’ and threatening to go public unless he was paid.
Prosecutors said Bisbal went straight to the police. Armed with email and text message evidence, as well as courtroom testimony from the singer’s sister, the conviction was a straightforward affair.
The court heard how Oscar B, a Catalonia native, incessantly asked for photos and information from Bisbal’s celebrity friends in the hope of blackmailing them too.
Bisbal has released six studio albums, selling more than five million copies worldwide. He is a huge star in Latin America and also an actor, reality TV star, and songwriter.
He has never forgotten his Almeria roots and regularly makes music videos for the local government, helping encourage millions of tourists to visit the place he still calls home.