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Burt Reynolds sues former girlfriend

Claims she tried to extort millions from actor
/ Source: The Associated Press

Burt Reynolds sued a former girlfriend, alleging that she was threatening to falsely accuse him of abuse if he didn’t pay millions of dollars in extortion.

The lawsuit says that Pamela Seals falsely accused Reynolds of yelling at her and stomping on her toes. Seals, who was Reynolds’ girlfriend for 10 years, told the actor she would publicize her allegations if he didn’t agree to a hefty settlement that included support for Seals and her mother, half of Reynolds’ Jupiter home and other compensation.

Reynolds’ lawyer, Bob Montgomery, called Seals’ threats blackmail, saying the actor offered to settle the matter for $1 million but Seals refused. He said because Reynolds and Seals were never married, she is entitled to nothing under Florida law.

“She wanted more and more and her demands were absolutely exorbitant,” Montgomery said.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages and for a court to stop Seals from suing Reynolds in California, where the couple lived temporarily.

In a statement, Reynolds, 68, called the situation “unfortunate” and said he wouldn’t be “intimidated by false accusations.”

Seals’ lawyer, Mark Maynor, said he hadn’t seen the lawsuit early Monday and had no immediate comment.

Reynolds began acting on television in the 1960s and is known for his work in films such as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Deliverance,” “The Longest Yard” and “Boogie Nights.”

In 1996, after a messy divorce from Loni Anderson, Reynolds filed for bankruptcy protection, with debts totaling $10 million. Montgomery said the actor had since recovered from his financial problems.