Michael Jefferson King Wiki – Michael Jefferson King Biography
Michael Jefferson King, who starred as Shadow in the hit TV show Gladiators, has been jailed today for his role in a blackmail plot.
The former bodybuilder was caged at Isleworth Crown Court for six years and three months after admitting to taking part in a drug-fuelled plot.
He is 60 years old.
King was described as a ‘lieutenant’ to the plot, which ended in Aaron Ali being beaten and filmed for ‘highly distressing’ videos sent to his family to elicit payment of up to £1,000 to let him go.
At one stage, King was alleged to have ordered a co-defendant to ‘fetch a hammer to break his legs’ after Mr Ali tried to flee.
King, 60, a long-time user of crack cocaine and heroin, was handed a sentence of six years and three months after admitting two counts of blackmail at Isleworth Crown Court.
Three other defendants, so-called ringleader Simon Batson, Donna Harman, and Otis Noel, were also sentenced for their role in the plot.
Her Honour Judge Fiona Barrie said: ‘The four defendants hatched a plan to extort money from Mr Ali’s family.
‘He was subjected to a sustained and brutal attack over several hours, and from lunchtime until 9 pm, he said the group tortured him.’
She said Mr Ali said ‘he was treated as less than a human by people he knew, all for drugs and money.
King, born in London to Jamaica parents, moved to New York, aged 14, joining the school American football team.
He later returned to England, where he met his wife and fathered two children before being recruited as a Gladiator for the original 1992 series hosted by Ulrika Jonsson.
In 1995 King was caught snorting cocaine, then axed from the ITV show after testing positive for steroids.
He later turned to heroin and crack cocaine, lost his home and family and served a succession of prison sentences.
In 2009 he went into rehab and stayed clean, revealing in 2011 that he had beaten his addiction and worked at a rehab clinic to help people suffering from drug problems. Last year he was arrested for heroin possession.