In an extortion trial, the allegations are virtually guaranteed to be ugly, but the ugly in the Alison Coss v. John Stamos trial has a wide reach. The trial, getting underway this week, pits allegations that Coss and fellow defendant, Scott Sippola, tried to extort $680,000 from Stamos by threatening to sell pictures of him with strippers and cocaine to the tabloids. Coss, on her side, implicates Stamos in an (or an attempted) sexual relationship with her in 2004 when she was a high school student and underage.
According to the report by People, Stamos's attorney has said the allegations made by Coss will be proven to be "simply untrue." According to Stamos's camp, the actor did meet Allison Coss in '04 and exchanged emails, but no inappropriate relationship occurred. Then, last fall, Stamos contacted the FBI after receiving two emails - one from a "Jessica T" claiming she was pregnant with Stamos's child, and one from a "Brian L" threatening to sell allegedly compromising photos to the tabloids.
Attorneys for Allison Coss and Scott Sippola tell a different story. According to a TPI News report, Coss accuses Stamos of pursuing a sexual relationship with her at the time of their meeting. It was at this time the alleged incriminating pictures of Stamos were taken. Coss's attorney says she and Sippola did, in a "legitimate business offer," try to sell photos of Stamos back to him. Most reports state the photos do not (or do not any longer) exist.
The trial judge, per People, has disallowed any testimony regarding a physical relationship between Coss and Stamos, but did allow the defense attorneys to refer to it in opening statements. The import of the relationship goes to an impeachment of any testimony by Stamos who is expected to testify. According to the Associated Press, Coss's lawyer, Frank Stupak Jr. wrote, "If the witness does have a lifestyle that influences the witness' credibility, the lifestyle is important. Certainly information delivered by a virtuous person such as a Mother Teresa is judged more reliable than information that may be testified to by a person with a Lindsay Lohan reputation." Ouch. This is getting ugly.