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Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: Help, I'm Being Blackmailed!

Ask E. Jean For DearSugar: Help, I'm Being Blackmailed!

Dear E. Jean,

I find myself in a very strange, very frightening situation. You will not see my real name anywhere on this post, because people are threatening me. I am a good, kind, hard-working 29-year-old woman. I have a wonderful fiancé who is finishing his surgery residency and we are planning a June wedding. Because I made a terrible mistake and carried on a brief affair before I became engaged — it lasted all of one week — with my boss (who is female, by the way), I am being blackmailed by a horrible man at work.

Two months ago he demanded $600 in cash. I gave it to him. Last month he demanded $800 in cash and I gave it to him. (This may not sound like a lot of money to you, E. Jean or to the DearSugar ladies, but I promise you, it was very difficult to find an extra $800.) He seems to be well aware of how much I make, and this month (yesterday on the 15th,) he asked for $1000. He says if I don’t pay him, he will go to the CEO and “out” me and my boss. I believe him.

If he goes to the CEO, I will lose my job and so will the woman with whom I had the affair. What should I do? This can’t go on! I don’t have the money! I will have to go to the bank and borrow to pay him the $1000. Please, please help me. I don’t want my fiancé to find out, I don’t want to lose my job! And I don’t know which way to turn!
— Alias in New York.

To see E. Jean's answer

My Dear Miss Alias,

Go to the authorities. The man marked you out as an easy victim; and all I can say is: He's about to get the surprise of his idiot life! He’s a criminal, a maggot, what he’s doing is illegal, and he will roast his foul carcass in jail for it. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Keep your wits about you.
  2. Behave at the office as you always behave (i.e., don't tip him off that you are about to take action).
  3. Make copies of your bank statements, any threats, any emails that contain even the smallest inference of his asking you for money, and also write down everything that has happened from the first moment he blackmailed you. That means dialogue, time, place — all details.
  4. When you have (quickly!) gathered the evidence (and alas, it sounds like you do not have too much) go to your local district attorney’s office and file a complaint. A prosecutor will then issue an arrest warrant for the guy — or (more probably) set up a sting operation to catch the worm in the act of taking money from you. You can also go to the police, or to your county sheriff’s office.
  5. Now comes the hard part: Alert your friend/boss what is happening. Nobody knows for certain what went on between the two of you, so my advice to you both is: Refuse to admit anything. Characterize the blackmailer’s accusation as “the frivolous wishful thinking of the office schlub.” You and your boss can figure out how to tell the CEO that one of his employees is attempting to blackmail you over something that is “too ridiculous to even imagine.”
  6. And now the really hard part: Tell the truth to your fiancé. But not the details. You can say you had a brief dalliance, it happened before you were engaged, it lasted less than a week, and that you have reported the blackmailer to the police.

Good luck, Miss Alias. Mr. Blackmailing Slimebucket is just about to learn he messed with the wrong woman!

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle magazine and

bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I guess I would give you the same advice my mom always gave me - never let somebody blackmail you. always tell on yourself before they can and take away their power. yes what this guy did was horrible and wrong, but so is what you did. Why should he have to pay and not you? your fiance deserves to know what you did and if you didn't want to get fired then you probably shouldn't be sleeping with your boss knowing that's against company policy. You have to pay for your wrongdoing just liek the rest of the world. I don't feel sorry for you at all frankly. You are ina prison of your own making. Suck it up be a woman and admit what you did and live in the fallout whatever that may be
walkswithdog walkswithdog 9 years
What has happened before you are engaged is really your own business, and therefore this person should have no hold over you. You were not in the state of commitment at the time. It is sad that you did not realize this at the time, and I`m sure that if the fellow you are engaged to really loves you he should be able to move accept that. As for the creep that is blackmailing you a good swift kick in the cahones is what he should receive, but beyond that keeping a log of what has transpired so far is a good idea, than getting this info to the authorities should be your next move. Also suing him for mental abuse would be an excellent idea. These type of vermin have to be taught a good lesson. Good luck.
jinxykb jinxykb 9 years
Can't the boss have him fired? What does she have to say about this?!? Great advise from Dear Sugar, but I couldn't do it. I'd tape him blackmailing me and then play it back and threaten to go to the authorities, puncture his tires, send him a subscription of hustler and send some call girls to his house. Telling the fiance is a good idea. Once he knows the jig is up. Just tell him it was a college fantasy you wanted to get out of your head. 75% of the men I know would get over it in about 10 seconds. One more thing, please don't be too hard on yourself. You made a mistake but you certainly don't deserve this. p.s.: I was only joking about the tires. ;-)
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
1) STOP GIVING THAT MAN MONEY!!!! HE'LL NEVER STOP BLACKMAILING YOU AND THE SUM WILL JUST RISE EVERY TIME!! 2) Talk to your boss about it! It's not only your problem, it's hers, too. If the CEO finds out, she'll get fired, too. 3) Agree to say that there was nothing between you two. If the man has no evidence, he'll have no way to prove it. He probably knows this, so he won't even go to anyone if you stand up to him. 4) If your fiancee is to find out about this, it's better if he hears this from you rather than from this guy or the CEO or your boss or anyone else...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Oh my lord... Good luck, I hope things work out for you.
sylvangirl sylvangirl 9 years
Mm, while I think the man is wrong for blackmailing you, I'm not entirely sympathetic to your situation. I don't normally associate "good, kind" with "a brief affair" behind the back of your "wonderful fiance". You should have stepped up and told the truth in the first place. The first blackmail demand should have forced you to really face the consequences of your actions, and I don't mean paying the blackmailer, but going to your fiance and admitting that you did something wrong. Instead, you chose the weak path of trying to hide your wrongdoing. Sad. Well it's not too late. As they say, "the truth shall set you free".
chatondeneige chatondeneige 9 years
I love most of E Jean's advice here, but you need to be honest. If you lose your job, that's just the way the world works sometimes - you've done something wrong, you know that or you wouldn't be paying this sicko. Sometimes people lose their jobs due to downsizing, or any number of uncontrollable things. It sounds to me like you're mad that you might lose yours for a valid reason... and that just plain p!sses me off! I'm sorry you got caught, but you can't expect to go through life with no consequences for your actions,
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
Horrible situation. I agree 100% with E. Jean.
JessNess JessNess 9 years
First rule of being blackmailed- never give into their demands!!!! It totally gives them the upper hand and will make people wonder why you would pay them if you are saying things are not true Next step- Follow E. Jean's advice and go to the cops with all the evidence and get this loser behind bars
cgmaetc cgmaetc 9 years
I got some cousins we can call to make sure he goes away... Kidding. A little.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
good advice from e. jean. but why will you and your boss be fired? why is your sex life the business of your employer?
Sabrina-L Sabrina-L 9 years
Cheers to the truth!
Marci Marci 9 years
How did this guy even find out about the affair?? Anyway, don't let this go any further. And he may out you at work when you stand up for yourself, but he'll be outed as well for being a sleazeball who will break the law and blackmail people. This is not going to be an easy situation for you to handle, but you'll never be able to move forward with your new life if you don't. Just do it. You'll feel so much better once you have. And don't be ashamed of the affair you had. Hold your head up high and keep moving through life.
reeeeka reeeeka 9 years
Turn him into the police! Get honest with your may be hard but you can't start a marriage with such a HUGE secret! Look for a new job...before they fire you (if they even do if you both admit too it)
lily3484 lily3484 9 years
I 100% agree with E.Jean. This is against the law and if you let it go on, it will only get worse. Tell the authorities and keep records of everything! It may be hard to talk about with your fiance but it needs to be done for several reasons. For one, you are being harassed and your fiance should be aware of that, God forbid something happened to you! Secondly, what kind of marriage are you going to have with this weighing on you. You will feel so much better once you get this off your chest. I think E.Jean is right on when she says make it brief and provide little detail. Men will try to pull the details out and it will only hurt them more. Keep it simple and to the point. This affair obviously had no real significance to you and by sparing the details you are letting your fiance know this. Good luck with everything!
tinyspark tinyspark 9 years
E. Jean knows her stuff...this is sick sick sick behaviour. As for you, my dear, we all make mistakes, sometimes big life-changing ones. I think you have learned your lesson - best of luck to you! :)
frieddumpling frieddumpling 9 years
Leave the firm and come clean with your fiance. The consequences of coming clean won't be as bad as the blackmail. Because with blackmail, even after you succumb to his requests, the truth will still be out. It makes you look even worse since you made such an effort to hide it. Definitely tell your boss as well so you both can handle the situation. Perhaps the guy is also blackmailing your boss. If you leave the firm and asks your boss for good reference and find another job, you still have a good future.
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
Get evidence of him black-mailing you and take it to the police, or show him and threaten to take it to the police and to your boss, at least if you go down you can take him with you!
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
karlotta karlotta 9 years
Your fiancé may even find it a turn on that you were with a woman! Who knows... Just chalk it up to wanting a last crazy experience before you got married. At least you didn't have an orgy with a bunch of drunken guys in a club. You could even downplay it a little... And I think you should come clean to your boss; because once this goes to court, he will figure out that he really happened just from the fact you paid off the guy the first two times. If you really can't handle coming clean to your boss and your fiancé, you could also call the guy's bluff, and refuse to give him the money. That will only work if he has no actual PROOF. When he comes out with your story and starts telling people, just deny it. When he says you already gave him money, just deny it. Keep denying. But frankly... the truth WILL set you free. Honesty is what I would go with. 100%. To all the people involved. Good luck to you; it's not going to be easy, but what you did really is forgivable, so start with that - forgive yourself, say the truth, and stay strong.
Go to the cops. That's illegal!
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
For once, E. Jean's on the money. It's time to take action!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"I don't know if the part where the poster is supposed to claim the guy's accusation is ridiculous will work. After all, she did pay him. Who would pay a blackmailer with nothing real on you?" Good point.
lindholmka lindholmka 9 years
Anyone seen the movie "Derailed" with Jennifer Anisten? Similar situation....The guy got his revenge with out getting busted...too bad real life couldn't work out so smoothly.
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