Smurfs Creator Sentenced to Probation for Trying to Extort $11 Million From Son-in-Law

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Stuart Ross, 74, who says he’s innocent, was also ordered to undergo alcohol treatment.

Stuart Ross, who is credited with bringing the Smurfs to the U.S., has been sentenced to five years probation for attempting to extort $11 million from his son-in-law.

Ross, 74, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny in August, but shortly after said he only signed the court papers to get out of jail and he was innocent.

A Manhattan judge denied his request on Tuesday to withdraw his guilty plea, also ordering him to undergo alcohol treatment and keep away from his daughter's family, including his grandchildren and the son-in-law he attempted to extort, David Blitzer, an executive at Blackstone Group.

On the way out of the courtroom, Ross told reporters, "My position remained that I was innocent and [the judge] knew that."

He plans to appeal.