Vivek Shah, a down-on-his-luck actor known for roles like “Gentleman,” “Cabbie,” and “Drunk Friend,” has been even less successful at devising an extortion plot. The 25-year-old was arrested this month at his mom and dad’s house for allegedly trying to extort millions of dollars each from five business moguls, including mega-producer Harvey Weinstein. Shah, who is good at getting photographed next to famous people, sent “demand letters” to Weinstein, along with a Groupon co-founder, two oil execs, and a coal magnate, which “contained a threat to kill named members of the recipient’s family unless a large sum of money was wired to an offshore bank account.” As if to prove his devotion to his craft, the return address Shah used for the letter sent to Weinstein belongs to Helen Mirren.
The Smoking Gun has the full affidavit, including other fun and terrifying details like the fact that when Shah was collared, he was just days away from attending a scheduled handgun training session in L.A.
“He’s a very good person,” Shah’s father told the Post, adding another level of conspiracy to the plot: “He was pressured by someone, and they threatened they would kill Vivek.” If this is viral marketing for a screenplay, Weinstein will not be pleased.
“The Weinsteins have always had intense security and been on high alert because of the movies they make,” said a source. “Especially because of the movie The Master, they are under intense security.” But no, Scientology does not appear to be involved in this one.