On the same day that "Six Degrees of Separation" garnered four Tony nominations, the convicted con artist who served as its inspiration was ordered to stay away from the playwright.
David Hampton was ordered by a judge Monday not to go near playwright John Guare after complaints that he threatened Guare's life.Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Plummer Lott extended a protection order, originally issued April 10, after attorney Nicholas Ackerman told him Hampton had threatened Guare in an attempt to extort money.
Hampton, 27, claims he should get some financial benefit from the hit Broadway play since it is based on his experiences in 1983 when he bilked several prominent people by posing as actor Sidney Poitier's son.
"We have death threats on tape recordings," Ackerman told the judge. He said Hampton told Guare on one tape, "I would truly advise you to give me some money or you can start counting your days."
Ackerman said Hampton is not entitled to compensation because Guare used the public record, as well as interviews with others involved, to craft the play. Authors of books about murder cases do not owe the murderers anything, he said.
Hampton, son of a well-to-do Buffalo attorney, made news in 1983 when he obtained money and living accommodations from Jay Iselin, president of Public Broadcasting Service television station WNET; Osborne Elliott, former dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; and several others by posing as Poitier's son.
Hampton served 21 months in prison for the Poitier scam.
The play on Monday was nominated for four Tony awards: best play, best actress, best director and best actor - Courtney B. Vance, who portrays the character based on Hampton.