A MAN accused of blackmailing a Premier League footballer has denied trying to extract money from him and claims he wanted to expose his alleged cheating.
Prince Rowe, 37, burst into a hotel room with Nathan Coleman, 38, to capture incriminating footage of the footballer with Natalie Wood, 28.
Prince Rowe, 37, pictured, denied being part of a blackmail plot to extract money from a Premier League footballer and said he wanted to expose his alleged cheating[/caption]
Natalie Wood has admitted being part of a plot to blackmail the professional footballer[/caption]
The player, who cannot be named for legal reasons, jumped out of a hotel window wearing only his underwear after the two men entered the room.
He had previously met Wood – who has admitted conspiring to blackmail him – on two occasions after contacting her on social media, Bristol Crown Court heard.
Rowe said he agreed to go to the hotel after his friend Tyrone Coleman – a former contestant on ITV’s Take Me Out – discovered Wood had been contacting the footballer.
Giving evidence, Rowe said he met Wood for the first time at a pub in Birmingham last year.
‘SHE WANTED TO EXPOSE HIM’
During the meeting, Rowe said he discussed how Wood could expose the footballer to the media.
Rowe told the court: “We were watching a match. I can’t remember if Tyrone or she mentioned that she was dating a footballer.
“She mentioned she was upset with the way she was treated by him. She wanted to expose him to his missus or something like that.
“We discussed what she could do. She had a few options. I mentioned to her she could sell it to newspapers.”
Former Take Me Out contestant Tyrone Coleman warned a ‘cheating’ Premier League footballer’s ‘days are numbered’[/caption]
Rowe said the plan was to take incriminating footage of Wood with the footballer in the hotel room.
He added: “Basically we would enter the room, get a recording of the footballer and Natalie in a compromising position and then leave.
“I was sceptical about the whole thing. I was actually surprised when I entered the room and saw it was actually the footballer.”
Rowe said he asked Tyrone Coleman to send him the video so he could show it to friends who had contacts with the media.
He claimed he was handed the footballer’s tracksuit by Wood after they left the hotel room and said he later found a £27,000 Rolex watch and wallet inside it.
“I just panicked,” he said. “I didn’t want to get myself into trouble or anyone else into trouble.”
FOOTBALLER’S ROLEX WATCH
Under cross-examination, Rowe said they wanted to sell the story to The Sun but did not know how much it would be worth to the newspaper.
Simon Jones, prosecuting, suggested: “The reality is you knew you could earn big money from (the footballer). That’s why you were going to go to the media?
“You are motivated by money?”
Rowe, who said he owned a vape shop and did not need the money, replied: “To a certain extent.”
He insisted the tracksuit, which still had tags on, was handed to him by Wood who told him she had purchased it for the footballer.
Rowe said: “I was never going to keep the Rolex, I was going to return it.”
Bristol Crown Court heard how the footballer was ‘blackmailed’[/caption]
Rowe also said it had “never crossed my mind” about whether the footballer would be wealthy.
Mr Jones said: “The truth, I suggest, is that you came up with the idea to get an image of him and use that image to sell to the newspaper and what you were going on to discuss with Tyrone and Nathan was how you could threaten him.
“If you were in the room and filming him and had footage on a mobile phone, you could demand there and then the money to keep you quiet.
“This is all part of a very detailed blackmail plot, was it not?”
I was planning to expose (the footballer) to the media and expose him to his missus
Rowe replied: “No, not at all.
“I was planning to expose (the footballer) to the media and expose him to his missus.”
The jury of nine women and three men has heard a police investigation was launched after the footballer ran into a nearby restaurant in his underwear.
Nathan Coleman, of Sussex, denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of thefts relating to the Rolex watch and designer tracksuit.
His brother Tyrone Coleman, of Birmingham, denies conspiracy to blackmail.
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Rowe, of Birmingham, denies conspiracy to blackmail and two counts of theft.
Ras Robinson denies a charge of handling stolen goods relating to the watch.
The trial continues.
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