Update: O’Brien has pleaded guilty and will get six years’ probation. Her defense attorney says O’Brien was upset after Malone dismissed her in 2009 after 25 years of work.
Original report: The woman accused of extorting a wealthy heir to Campbell Soup Co. is due in Philadelphia court today. Agnes O’Brien, a longtime friend of heir Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, is accused of demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars from Malone to keep a tell-all book secret.
According to a report from the Associated Press, O’Brien threatened to write a tell-all about her friendship with Malone in Chester County. She demanded $200,000 from the heir up front, and $250,000 a year to keep quiet.
Malone is the granddaughter of Campbell Soup founder John T. Dorrance, and is worth about $2.2 billion. O’Brien is in court for a plea hearing.