An ex-boyfriend of Elizabeth Lyn Vargas was charged Thursday with multiple felonies for allegedly extorting the former “The Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member by threatening to release nude photos of her, then holding her at gunpoint during a standoff at her Newport Beach home.

Ryan Matthew Geraghty, 33, was charged with single counts each of extortion, assault with a firearm, criminal threats, corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, possession of a firearm by a felon and grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, all felonies, as well as two misdemeanor counts of possession of cocaine and a Xanax bar. He also faces sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm.

According to the criminal complaint, Geraghty has two prior convictions for burglary in Los Angeles in June of 2008 and November of 2016. The two prior strikes mean he faces about 75 years to life in prison if convicted.

He was arrested Tuesday night following a roughly two-hour standoff with Newport Beach police at Vargas’ home in the 100 block of Medina Way. Police and prosecutors have not formally identified the victim, but Vargas’ manager confirmed it was the former “RHOC” cast member.

Prosecutors contend Geraghty began blackmailing Vargas on Christmas Eve, forcing her to pay tens of thousands of dollars to prevent him from releasing nude photos of her. According to the prosecutors, he also allegedly forced her to buy him a BMW.

Prosecutors allege Geraghty went to Vargas’ home Monday, threatening her with a gun because she refused to pay him any more money. While there, he allegedly fired a shot into the ceiling during an argument, as Vargas hid in a closet, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, he allegedly called Vargas and accused her of stealing his car, because she stopped payments on the BMW, prosecutors said.

Police went to Vargas’ home to perform a welfare check at about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, and they determined a suspect was holed up inside, prompting a standoff. After about two hours, officers made their way inside the home and police said they found an armed suspect “actively threatening the life of the victim.”

Geraghty was taken into custody. Police said that after speaking with Vargas, officers evacuated some surrounding residences while they secured the house. After conducting a search of the residence, the evacuations were lifted and no other suspects were found, police said.

Vargas’ manager, David Weintraub, issued a statement saying, “Elizabeth is doing great now,” and added, “She wants to thank the Newport Beach Police Department and SWAT teams for saving her from harm’s way. This was a traumatic experience for her and she feels blessed that she survived.”

He said security would be beefed up around Vargas’ home.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *