Big breaking media news: Jared Paul Stern is not being charged by the U.S.attorney's office. Last April, the news broke that billionaire Ron Burkle had accused Stern, a longimte contributor to Page Six at the New York Post, of attempting to extort him in exchange for keeping his name out of the gossip pages. The allegations were reportedly supported by excerpts of taped conversations between Burkle and Stern, as provided by Burkle to the New York Daily News.Stern was notified of the news this last week, and it was reported by Choire Sicha of the New York Observer this afternoon, including this statement from Stern's lawyer Joseph Tacopina:
"I have been informed by the U.S. Attorney's office that they are not proceeding with any case against Mr. Stern. We have said from day one that this was a campaign to spread lies based on false accusations fueled by Burkle's personal vendetta against the New York Post, and that there was never any evidence of wrongdoing on Mr. Stern's part."
Sicha promises "More in tomorrow's New York Observer"; we're sorta looking forward to tomorrow's New York Daily News.
"You know, I am optimistic that by the time all this is done, really, I won't be damaged goods. I'll be better known--and, if anything, at least back where I started, if not better."
— Jared Paul Stern, New York Observer, April 17, 2006