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Woman accused of stalking Yankees general manager

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A British woman stalked and harassed New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, convincing him to pay her $6,000 after what her lawyers called an inappropriate relationship, prosecutors and others familiar with the case said on Friday.

Louise Neathway, 36, faces eight criminal charges stemming from her contact with Cashman, who she met in early 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed on Thursday. Neathway, through her lawyers, denied the accusations.

She repeatedly telephoned and sent him text messages, despite Cashman asking her to stop and changing his phone number, it said.

She also demanded he give her $15,000 for an unspecified medical procedure, saying otherwise she would go to the media "and assert facts that would subject the informant to ridicule and damage his personal relationships and professional reputation," the complaint said.

Cashman deposited $6,000 into two bank accounts held by Neathway in mid-January, prosecutors said. A few days later, she sent an e-mail to Cashman insisting he continue to pay her or risk embarrassment in the press, the complaint said.

Cashman, 44, has been general manager of the Yankees since 1998, when the team won the first of three straight World Series championships among four total on his watch. He is referred to only as "the informant" in the court documents, but both his spokesman and Neathway's lawyer confirmed his identity.

Cashman has been separated from his wife for at least a year, or before he met Neathway, the New York Times reported, citing two unnamed people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Chris Giglio, a spokesman for Cashman, said the Yankee general manager is "very gratified that this matter is in the hands of law enforcement" but would not comment further.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney, whose office is prosecuting the case, said she could not comment.

Neathway was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday on eight counts of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, aggravated harassment and stalking.

Neathway, who is also known as Louise Meanwell, denies the accusations, her lawyers said.

"It is always easy to jump to conclusions when you hear allegations of a salacious nature," Alan Abramson and Stephen McCarthy, her lawyers, said in a statement.

"We believe that after a thorough review of the facts we will obtain a favorable result for Ms. Meanwell from the district attorney's office," their statement said.

McCarthy said in court on Thursday it was a case of "a married man in an inappropriate relationship with a single mother."

Neathway, who has a 14-year-old daughter, is a British citizen living in New York with U.S. residency, her lawyers said.

Prosecutors said this is not the first time Neathway has been accused of harassment. In a separate case, she was charged in New York with harassing another unidentified individual in 2010, but the case was adjourned.

She was also arrested for trespass in North Carolina in 1998 and convicted of trespass in New Jersey in 2008, prosecutors said.

She is also accused of threatening to hurt an unidentified person known to Cashman and of contacting that person.

Neathway is in custody with bail set at $300,000, the district attorney's office said. Her next court date was scheduled for February 7.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Daniel Trotta)

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