Disgraced born-again lawyer Dominic Barbara tried to shake down his ex-wife for $200,000 — in exchange for not releasing dirty photos of her, prosecutors charged yesterday.
The Nassau County DA arrested Barbara — a former high-profile celebrity lawyer who has repped the likes of Joey Buttafuoco, Jessica Hahn and Michael Lohan — after he tried to extort his wife in a series of allegedly threatening texts and phone calls, prosecutors said.
A disheveled and handcuffed Barbara, 67, acting as his own lawyer, pleaded not guilty to charges that he threatened to hold a press conference and make public the photos and details of ex-wife Leslie’s supposed sexcapades, prosecutors said.
SLEAZY DOES IT: Former celeb lawyer Dominic Barbara was hauled into court yesterday on charges he treid to extort $200,000 from his ex-wife, Leslie, in exchange for not exposing an affair he claims she had with her married law partner.
“I happen to be with Christ. I’m a religious person,” Barbara, a born-again Christian, bizarrely said outside court after a judge released him on no bail.
“I forgive her . . . I want this all to go away and be done,” said Barbara, who faces a year in prison if convicted on larceny, harassment and stalking charges.
The phone calls and text messages lasted from March to September, according to court documents.
He then upped his demand to $200,000, officials said.
Barbara claimed he had photographic proof that Leslie — whom he married and divorced twice — was having an intimate relationship with her boss at her law firm and threatened to send those alleged pictures to the man’s wife, officials said.
“He . . . called and texted me about doing a story about exposing married men and their mistresses, which I perceived as a threat because I did not pay him the money he demanded,” his ex-wife wrote in a deposition filed in Nassau District Court.
“In another phone call, he said that he was going to destroy me and stated that he was going to come to New York to hold a press conference about the men that he believed I had slept with.”
Barbara also threatened to file court papers on the alleged affair, said Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice.
During his alleged extortion campaign, Barbara called and texted Leslie Barbara’s law partner, as well as her friends and clients, to try to force her to pay him off, Rice said.
He even sent a threatening text to his ex-wife’s friend, Leslie Barbara said in her deposition.
“I saw text messages that [the friend] received from a phone number that I recognized to be the defendant’s, saying ‘Karma of Scott is only the beginning,’” Leslie wrote in the deposition.
“My son Scott is very ill and I perceived this text message to be a threat to both me and my family.”
The fallen lawyer even confronted his ex at a beauty salon and threatened her that “things are going to get a lot worse,” prosecutors said.
“This was a cold-hearted campaign of harassment and threats, designed to put money in the defendant’s pockets and he didn’t care how many lives he destroyed along the way,” said Rice.
Leslie Barbara did not respond to requests for comment.
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