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Related to blackmail: Emotional Blackmail


The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person's money or property.

The term blackmail originally denoted a payment made by English persons residing along the border of Scotland to influential Scottish chieftains in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.

In blackmail the threat might consist of physical injury to the threatened person or to someone loved by that person, or injury to a person's reputation. In some cases the victim is told that an illegal act he or she had previously committed will be exposed if the victim fails to comply with the demand.

Although blackmail is generally synonymous with Extortion, some states distinguish the offenses by requiring that the former be in writing.

Blackmail is punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both.




n. the crime of threatening to reveal embarrassing, disgraceful or damaging facts (or rumors) about a person to the public, family, spouse or associates unless paid off to not carry out the threat. It is one form of extortion (which may include other threats such as physical harm or damage to property). (See: extortion)


noun exaction, extortion, hush money, illegal compulsion, oppressive exaction, protection, ransom, shakedown, taking by undue exercise of power
See also: coercion, compel, extort, extortion, graft, hush money, threaten


in English law, a person is guilty of blackmail if, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, he makes any unwarranted demand with menaces and for this purpose menaces are unwarranted unless the person making it does so in the belief that he had reasonable grounds for making the demand and that the use of menaces is a proper means of reinforcing the demand. For Scotland, see EXTORTION.
References in periodicals archive ?
Clarke, 40, of Western Avenue, Newport, told how he emerged from bushes holding a replica firearm to blackmail one victim into handing over thousands of pounds.
They all deny conspiracy to blackmail but three other members, Gregg Avery, Natasha Avery and Daniel Amos, have pleaded guilty, the court heard.
Ronald Thwaites QC, for McGuigan, asked: "Do you think there is any danger that your perception of this call has changed over the nine months since you received it because you are now in a blackmail trial and you are putting a different complexion on it from the one you put on it that day?
Sources now maintain McGinley may have thought he was going to meet someone involved with the blackmail scam when he vanished without trace.
The Gardai source added: "We believe these tapes were made to try and blackmail certain people.
In similar cases involving blackmail, the Saudi police last week arrested two men in separate incidents for threatening an Omani girl and a Saudi student currently in Canada.
Martin Peckham, 41, tried to blackmail F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone after claiming a Middle Eastern gang was about to abduct his daughter for ransom.
A HANDYMAN has admitted trying to blackmail Coleen Rooney, the wife of Manchester United player Wayne Rooney, for pounds 5,000 over stolen personal photos.
It would indeed be legally wrong for Alfred to reveal what he told Bill in confidence, but the threat to disclose it unless Bill pays Alfred to keep quiet would be a legal wrong not because it is blackmail, but because it breached Alfred's contractual obligation to Bill.
Kamal Afridi used to blackmail government officials by posing himself as judge of Peshawar High Court.
This parliament must not conclude the blackmail by the lenders," Zoe Constantopoulou, a prominent member of the Syriza party's left wing, told deputies ahead of a crucial vote later on Wednesday.
The UAE TRA launched cyber blackmail awareness campaign and a survey on blackmail to develop a well-defined policy to control it and reduce its impact on people.