A federal grand jury indicted a Louisiana man on extortion charges that he tried to further his music career by threatening country singer George Strait.
Walter J. Bonin Jr. said he’d “go Rambo” if Strait didn’t record at least one of his songs, according to the indictment a grand jury issued Wednesday. He faces seven counts of extortion over threatening e-mails sent in July and August 2003.
“It’s all fake,” Bonin said Thursday in a telephone interview from his home in St. Martinville, La. “Somebody has been getting into my e-mail for the past four or five years. It’s not me because I would never do nothing to jeopardize George Strait.”
But prosecutors charged that Bonin tried to correspond with Strait through the singer’s representatives between June 1995 and August 2003. The first notes weren’t threatening, but on July 29, 2003, a note sent to Danny O’Brien, president of Strait’s fan club, read:
“Please have a nice talk to Erv and George telling them again how hard I’ve worked at getting my songs recorded by my idol/friend George Strait. Your wife, Anita knows I deserve my dream and destiny. If it comes down to it and I have no choice but to go Rambo, let me just say that I won’t be the lone gunman.”
“Erv” appears to be a reference to Strait’s manager, Irv Woolsey.
According to the indictment, the note describes the mayhem that could be created and adds, “Well, it doesn’t have to end with war. One song will be fine.”
The note also threatened to attack Nashville’s Music Row, where the major record labels have offices, but added, “Hehehehe, just joking about this stuff.”
A spokesman for the 51-year-old Strait, whose hits include “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and “The Chair,” didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. His record label, MCA Records in Nashville, declined to comment.