Variety’s Billion Dollar Producer Ryan Kavanaugh Takes Legal Action Against Kirk Schenck and Client ‘Jane Doe’ Over Presumed Extortion Scheme


Investigation underway for possible criminal extortion charges.

Prominent entrepreneur Ryan Kavanaugh has made striking disclosures, shedding light on an alleged extortion plot. Kavanaugh provided intimate details of the supposed scheme, initiated by an ex-girlfriend, ‘Jane Doe’, and her counsel, Kirk Schenck. He accuses the pair of attempting to defame his personal and professional character with false allegations to demand considerable financial compensation.

This conflict traces back two years, to Kavanaugh’s brief romantic involvement with Doe.

Following her failed endeavor to land a job at entertainment giant Triller, where Kavanaugh was Vice Chairman at the time, Doe succeeded in extracting a ‘convenience payment’ of $100,000 from the company. Kavanaugh unequivocally denies any involvement or endorsement of this settlement.

In a seemingly calculated move, Doe, with her current lawyer – her third thus far – has allegedly resurfaced, more than 2 years after Kavanaugh broke up with her, making greater demands to pay $550,000 immediately. Their renewed campaign coincided precisely with Triller’s high-profile speech at a major Wall Street conference and Triller’s application for public listing with the SEC.

According to Kavanaugh, when his refusal met their immediate demand for a $550,000 payment, the nature of the threats took a concerning turn. Over the course of the past week, he describes Schenck’s actions as becoming increasingly erratic, shifting from email threats to unsettling text threats, each one a with a new never before raised allegation. The accusations encompassed new, now more than 2 years later and never before raised, claims of sexual harassment, when that didn’t work to include drug use, and finally after a week of threats when it became clear Kavanaugh wasn’t going to give in to their extortion even reached as low as concocting child endangerment claims.

Resolute in his stand, Kavanaugh, who has previously weathered storms in his career, unequivocally asserts that his children are off-limits. He conveyed his profound dismay that anyone could exploit child welfare information for financial gain.

In a pledge of complete transparency, Kavanaugh welcomes any press members interested in exposing the true course of his relationship with Doe from the day they first met through his breakup with her; he has made available all written communications exchanged between himself and Jane Doe, 300 plus messages, in addition to the extortionist messages from her lawyer.

As a committed father, Kavanaugh vows to leave no stone unturned in safeguarding his children from what he characterizes as ‘morally deplorable conduct.’ Despite the looming challenges, he remains unyielding in his dedication to truth and justice, reflecting his resilience in the face of adversity.

Jessica Kavanaugh, Ryan Kavanaugh’s ex-spouse and the mother of his child, commented, “Ryan is an exceptional father to his sons, embodying everything one could hope for in a parent and a co-parent. I was present throughout during Ryan’s and Jane Doe’s two month relationship in early 2021 and can say with certainty that there is no truth to her baseless accusations. It is sad to watch someone willing to take advantage of the “me too” movement and attempt to exploit the well-being of children for money. Everyone who knows Ryan, knows that his children are his world and I am confident that truth will prevail and Jane Doe will be exposed for what she is”

Kavanaugh’s full response

“In the past days, an insidious extortion plot devised by a former girlfriend , from over two years ago, Jane Doe, and her legal representative, Kirk Schenck, has been directed against me. It began as an attempt to tarnish my professional reputation and my business interests through untruthful allegations. When their financial demands were not met, they escalated their tactics, making false allegations involving my eldest son, which they threatened to leak to the press unless paid $550,000.

Ms. Doe has already managed to extract $100,000 from Triller. Her then claim was that after we broke up she wanted to be employed by Triller however I and Triller kept her from being employed by Triller due to our prior relationship. This allegation was false and I strongly disagreed with Triller’s decision to pay for threats of dissemination of false information. However, Triller, considering the high potential legal costs and the inconvenience of a lengthy legal process, decided to opt for a ‘convenience payment.’ I had no involvement in this transaction, nor did I support it. Now, after more than two years, it appears Ms. Doe and Mr. Schenck have come ‘back to the well.’

They intentionally timed their latest demand to coincide with a significant event for Triller – a keynote speech at a major Wall Street conference, and amid their filing to go public with the SEC. This timing was clearly designed to inflict maximum reputational damage on both Triller and myself. These allegations, albeit baseless, could still cause significant short-term damage until proven false in court, a process that could take years, as we have seen in recent other high-profile cases.

When their escalating demands for an immediate payment of $550,000 did not influence me, their tactics changed. Mr. Schenck’s behavior grew increasingly erratic and alarming, shifting from text threats to email threats. His messages suggested that if the payment wasn’t made within hours, they would release statements to the press that would ‘ruin me.’

They began with insinuations of sexual harassment, then moved to false allegations of drug use, and finally stooped to the lowest point imaginable, suggesting they would make false claims involving child endangerment – something they knew would hit me hardest, as it involved my children, the most important part of my life.

This situation evolved from a typical breakup, where one party – Jane Doe – didn’t accept the end of our relationship, into an unjust assault on my character and my wallet, and finally into a clear extortionist plot that threatened to harm my relationship with my children. I assure you, I will stand firm, fight these allegations, and protect what’s most dear to me.

During my career, I’ve weathered adversities and navigated through unfounded criticisms. However, I draw the line firmly when it comes to my children. The very thought that someone would manipulate information concerning a child’s welfare for financial gain is deeply disturbing. More alarming is the fact that such egregious falsehoods could be created for pecuniary motives.

Jane Doe is the same individual who once claimed that watching me with my children made her ‘heart explode with love.’ She was a part of my life, shared countless hours with me, spent time with my children, and met my family and friends. This same person, after all these experiences, is now seeking to inflict harm on my loved ones by exploiting our past relationship. Jane Doe is also the same person who told me and others her ex-fiancé before me was “extremely and consistently physically abusive to her and her dog” and that she had a restraining order against him and that is why she left him. It has since come to my attention neither were true.

Let me be clear – my children are my world. I will spare no effort to shield them from the morally deplorable conduct of Jane Doe and her lawyer, Kirk Schenck. Their innocence and safety are my utmost priority, and I will not allow these falsehoods to compromise that. I have nothing to hide. In the interest of full transparency, I am willing to make all written communications between my ex-girlfriend, her lawyer, and myself available to any member of the press interested in reporting the true nature of our relationship’s start and its unfortunate end.

We stand firm in our commitment to truth and justice, and we trust that these principles will guide us through these challenging times. Your continued support and understanding are greatly appreciated as we navigate this situation.”

“Kirk Shenck, has extorted, lied, cheated, and done much worse to other parties in other cases than he did here, including to the late great Stan Lee. Someone needs to put a stop to his nefarious and quite dangerous actions”

Triller also provided a statement

“”The allegations and claims set forth by Jane Doe were found to be categorically unsubstantiated after Triller conducted a thorough investigation in 2022. Jane Doe was never employed by Triller or any subsidiary of Triller – to the contrary she was a contract service provider employed by a 3rd party agency that provided peripheral services for some Triller events in 2021.”,vid:NH0nFPi7lW8

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.