Adam Aron, the chief executive of AMC theaters, was nearly caught with his pants down.
According to a bombshell Semafor report, the meme-stock CEO has been identified as the victim of an elaborate blackmail plot that occurred in 2022. The outlet confirmed that Aron sent sexually explicit photos and texts to a Bronx con artist who posed as a former romantic partner. After a weeks-long exchange, the catfish, Sakoya Blackwood, extorted Aron for $300,000, threatening to release the embarrassing content to news media and the AMC board.
As part of the scheme, Blackwood posed as several fictitious individuals, including a Vanity Fair reporter who claimed to have seen some of the explicit images.
“Offers are coming in like crazy ppl love a scandal,” she wrote to Aron.
But instead of giving in to the blackmail, Aron decided to consult with legal experts and authorities.
“Unfortunately, last year I became the victim of an elaborate criminal extortion by a third party who was unknown to me related to false allegations about my personal life,” he wrote. “Rather than give in to blackmail, I personally engaged counsel and other professional advisors and reported the matter to law enforcement. I did so knowing I risked personal embarrassment. But with my access to resources, if I did not stand up against blackmail, who could?”
Aron said a criminal investigation led to Blackwood’s arrest on extortion and cyberstalking charges. She was reportedly sentenced in July to time served and probation.
“I was asked by law enforcement to keep this matter confidential during their investigation and subsequent court case,” Aron continued. “Shortly after the extortionist’s July 2023 sentencing, I informed AMC’s Board of Directors which thoroughly reviewed these events with independent outside counsel at WilmerHale. As I said above, this indeed was entirely a personal matter, and the matter is closed. And now, I am reporting this to all of you.”
The CEO went on to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the FBI “for their diligent, skillful, and professional handling of this unfortunate matter.”
You can read Adam Aron’s full statement below.