Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/WireImage
John Stamos (ER, Full House) took the stand to testify today in the Michigan extortion case of a woman who alleges that the two engaged in an affair in 2004 when she was a 17-year-old stripper. Allison Coss is now charged (along with accused cohort Scott Sippola) with conspiring to extort $680,000 from the 46-year-old actor. They are accused of demanding money because they possessed photos of the star with cocaine and strippers that they allegedly threatened to offer to a magazine.
Stamos confirmed in a Marquette, Mich., court -- according to an Associated Press report -- that he did indeed meet Coss in Orlando, Fla., in 2004 after he was taken to a club (where patrons must be 18) by friends who wanted to cheer him up, following his recent separation from wife Rebecca Romijn (the couple divorced the next year). "I was very heartbroken at the time," he testified.
Stamos also recalled that, on the night in question, Coss was one of several people who then joined him in his hotel room, staying a few hours. The actor described "just hanging out" and "socializing" with his new friends; he said he later began emailing with Coss and called their conversations "flirty" but "friendly."
"It was all very sweet. I considered her a friend," Stamos testified.
As for the defendant's version of how the alleged fling began, Coss' attorney Sarah Henderson said in Monday's opening statement that her client "showed up in Stamos' hotel room with a bag of cocaine, and Coss and her friend took a picture of Stamos bending over a table where the drugs had been laid out."
Henderson also claimed that Stamos "offered to perform oral sex on Coss, but she declined." Florida law makes it a second-degree felony for someone 24 or older to have oral sex with anyone 16 or 17 years old -- a charge potentially penalized by upwards of 15 years behind bars.
According to his attorney, Stamos eventually contacted the FBI when he received "two e-mails last fall from a 'Jessica T' who claimed she was pregnant and Stamos was the father....Later came a series of e-mails from a 'Brian L' describing allegedly compromising photos, and saying they would be sold to tabloids if Stamos did not buy them for $680,000." Stamos' lawyer characterized the correspondence as "really just a get-rich-quick scheme...based on lies and betrayal."
Stamos' attorney, William Sobel, denies that Stamos ever had a romantic relationship with the defendant, and has issued a statement about the sex allegations through publicist Matt Polk: "The allegations made in the courtroom by the defendants' attorneys during opening statements will not be proven because they are simply untrue." Stamos has so far declined to comment on the trial.
Do you believe John Stamos' accused blackmailer will be convicted? Chime in below!