Canadian TV Host's Extortion Charge Dropped

Co-host of HGTV Canada's "The Unsellables" still faces three charges stemming from private contracting work.

TORONTO – Toronto police have dropped an extortion charge against Anthony Sayers, co-host of HGTV Canada’s The Unsellables from Cineflix Productions.

But three charges, including one count of alleged fraud under $5000 and two counts of criminal harassment, remain against the Canadian TV personality stemming from an investigation into renovations done at a Toronto home by Sayer’s private contracting business.

A Toronto judge on Monday agreed to withdraw the extortion charge against Sayers at the request of crown prosecutors.

The Unsellables co-host was arrested on March 12 in connection with an extortion investigation stemming from renovations done in February by privately-held Anthony Sayers Custom Builder and Designer.

Toronto lawyer Karen McArthur, who represented Sayers at Monday’s court hearing, told reporters that Toronto police were too hasty in their initial investigation before deciding to bring charges against her client.

She also criticized police for issuing a March 14 public arrest notice that included his mugshot and received blanket media coverage.

McArthur added Sayers has had his reputation trodden on in the media because he appears on TV.

“I think it (TV) made it sexy because we live in a Charlie Sheen day of age,” she said of the media exposure that has surrounded the TV personality’s arrest.

Sayers also appeared on 52 episodes of the Canadian series Me, My House and I on the W Network as a carpenter.

McArthur added her legal client, also known as Barrington Anthony Sayers, is optimistic that “this matter will end in his favor.”

Sayers co-hosts The Unsellables with British TV personality Sophie Allsopp.

The series also airs on HGTV stateside and helps homeowners with unsightly and unsellable properties prepare for a sale.

HGTV Canada is currently airing re-runs of The Unsellables, and is in discussions with Cineflix and HGTV U.S. about possibly ordering another cycle of the lifestyle series.

Allsopp is also host of The Unsellables UK, along with the UKTV property series Gentrification, More4 Channel’s Property Guide and Channel 4’s primetime special The Ten Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK.

Sayers, who has had no previous dealings with the police, is next scheduled to appear in court on April 7.