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D.A. Rice: Garden City Attorney Tries to Extort $200K From Ex-Wife

Dominic Barbara threatened civil action and to expose alleged details of his ex-wife's sexual history in phone calls and texts, district attorney says.

Garden City attorney Dominic Barbara (Credit: D.A.'s office)
Garden City attorney Dominic Barbara (Credit: D.A.'s office)
Dominic Barbara, a high profile attorney from Garden City who once represented Joey Buttafuoco and more recently Howard Stern, attempted to extort $200,000 from his ex-wife and destroy her reputation and career when she didn't meet his demands, D.A. Kathleen Rice said Tuesday.

Barbara, 67, threatened to file false police reports and a false order of protection against his ex-wife, Rice said, and was arrested Tuesday by D.A. investigators.

The celebrity divorce lawyer, scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Hempstead later today, has been charged with grand larceny fourth degree, two counts of aggravated harassment second degree and two counts of stalking fourth degree. He could spend up to one year in jail if convicted.

Rice said that between March and September 2012, Barbara texted and called his ex-wife numerous times asking for $10,000 and upon her refusal, began a campaign of threatening calls and texts designed to destroy her reputation and career.

According to the district attorney's office, Barbara threatened to expose details of his ex-wife’s alleged sexual relationships, disclose compromising photos and videos and even hold a press conference about the men he claimed she had slept with.

Rice said Barbara soon upped his demanded payment to $200,000 and also threatened to file a false civil complaint and an order protection against his ex-wife.

During this time, Rice said, Barbara texted and called his ex-wife’s friends, clients and business partner in an attempt to get her to agree to his demands.

According to Rice, in a phone call to her employer, Barbara stated that he had photos of his ex-wife with a partner of the firm, and threatened to send those photos to the law partner’s wife. On another occasion, Rice said, Barbara confronted his ex-wife at a beauty salon, telling her that “things are going to get a lot worse.”

“This was a cold-hearted campaign of harassment and threats designed to put money in the defendant’s pockets, and he didn’t care how many lives were destroyed along the way,” Rice said. “Mr. Barbara’s conduct indicates a complete lack of respect for the people he maligned, the rule of law and common decency.”

Barbara was also arrested in September in a separate case after he allegedly violated an order of protection by attempting to contact his ex-wife through a third party, according to the district attorney's office. That order of protection was filed in August.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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