By Jonathan Allen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A British woman has been accused of stalking and harassing the general manager of the New York Yankees and trying to extort money from him, according to prosecutors and others familiar with the case.
Louise Neathway, 36, faces eight criminal charges stemming from her contact with Brian Cashman, who she met in early 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed on Thursday. Neathway, through her lawyers, denied the accusations.
She repeatedly telephoned and sent him text messages, despite Cashman asking her to stop and changing his phone number, it said.
She also demanded he give her $15,000 for an unspecified medical procedure, saying otherwise she would go to the media "and assert facts that would subject the informant to ridicule and damage his personal relationships and professional reputation," the complaint said.
Cashman is referred to only as "the informant" in the court documents, but both his spokesman and Neathway's lawyer confirmed his identity.
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney, whose office is prosecuting the case, said she could not comment.
Neathway was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday on eight counts of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, aggravated harassment and stalking.
Neathway, who is also known as Louise Meanwell, denies the accusations, her lawyers said.
"It is always easy to jump to conclusions when you hear allegations of a salacious nature," Alan Abramson and Stephen McCarthy, her lawyers, said in a statement.
"We believe that after a thorough review of the facts we will obtain a favorable result for Ms. Meanwell from the district attorney's office," their statement said.
Abramson said Neathway is a British citizen living in New York City with U.S. residency.
Chris Giglio, a spokesman for Cashman, said the Yankee general manager is "very gratified that this matter is in the hands of law enforcement" but would not comment further.
According to prosecutors, Cashman deposited $6,000 into two bank accounts held by Neathway in mid-January. A few days later, she sent him an e-mail to Cashman insisting he continue to pay her or risk embarrassment in the press, the complaint said.
She is also accused of threatening to hurt an unidentified person known to Cashman and of contacting that person.
Neathway is in custody with bail set at $300,000, the district attorney's office said.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Daniel Trotta)