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Anna Larke, the girlfriend of Justin Lee Collins, blackmailed the British TV presenter in an attempt to get £20,000 ($31,000), a court heard.

Anna Larke, 38, allegedly told the former Friday Night Project host that she would “go to the police” and “hurt” him if she did not get the money.

Anna Larke described the claim, made by Justin Lee Collins’ defence counsel, as “absolute lies”.

Justin Lee Collins, also 38, of Kew, south-west London, denies harassment, causing fear of violence at St. Albans Crown Court.

Sonia Woodley QC, defending Justin Lee Collins, said: “You told him <<Give me £20,000 or I’m going to hurt you and I’m going to go to the police>>.”

Anna Larke, who had a nine-month relationship with Justin Lee Collins, denied the claim.

She said: “Oh my God, that’s absolute lies. I’ve never said that.”

Sonia Woodley said Justin Lee Collins sent Anna Larke a text message that said: “I’ve offered you all sorts of help, but I’m not getting involved in blackmail.”

Anna Larke, a public relations worker who was unemployed at the time of the alleged offences, said: “If I had just wanted money I would have gone straight to the press.”

Earlier, jurors were told Justin Lee Collins had smacked and sworn at Anna Larke.

Penelope Larke, her mother, said: “He called her all the names under the sun, terrible names.”

Anna Larke had also told her mother that Justin Lee Collins had hit her in the face on one occasion but had asked her to keep it secret.

“She said: <<Mum I have to tell you something, you have to promise me first that you won’t say anything to anybody>>, and then she said he smacked her and swears at her,” Penelope Larke told the court.

“She told me he smacked her in the private parts. I told her it wasn’t a very healthy relationship and that she should just pack her bags and come home.”

Her husband, Jeremy Larke, said his daughter had dismissed attempts to talk about the “reddish marks” he saw on her face and arms when she paid them a visit during her relationship with Justin Lee Collins.

He told the court that once Anna Larke moved back to the family home she said Justin Lee Collins had assaulted her during a trip to America.

Jeremy Larke told police his daughter had told them he had grabbed her hair and dragged her around the room.

In court, he said: “It was a great shock to me. I can’t believe he would beat her up.”

The alleged harassment happened between January and August last year.

The trial continues.



Alpha Walker and Tamara Diaz, a couple who tried to extort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder, have pleaded no contest and been sentenced to 292 days in prison in Los Angeles.

But Alpha Walker and his girlfriend Tamara Diaz were released after being sentenced, having already served their time since they were arrested in May.

Alpha Walker was accused of making a video that he said would make the singer “extremely” embarrassed.

He tried to blackmail the star for up to $5 million, Stevie Wonder’s lawyer said.

The couple who tried to extort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder have pleaded no contest

The couple who tried to extort millions of dollars from Stevie Wonder have pleaded no contest

At a preliminary hearing, a police detective described the video as an 80-minute rant against Stevie Wonder.

It was said to feature the dilapidated home of Stevie Wonder’s dead mother and to show Stevie Wonder’s son, of whom the musician is protective.

A plea of no contest is not an admission of guilt but means the defendant does not contest the charges.

Alpha Walker had previously maintained his innocence and his solicitor Ian Wallach had claimed that he had a constitutional right to make and market the video.

A sting operation involving Stevie Wonder’s solicitor led to the pair’s arrest.

Ian Wallach said a deal was reached after prosecutors encountered trouble proving the extortion case, according to the Associated Press news agency.

He added that the charges were eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors and expunged later if the pair comply with the terms of their release.

Alpha Walker and Tamara Diaz were both ordered to spend three years on probation and told to stay away from the singer and his associates.