- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DAVENPORT, IOWA (AP) - A Branson, Mo., singer says he’s laughing off an attempt by a photographer to extort the hit TLC reality show “19 Kids and Counting” by threatening to release photos of him with a cast member.

James Garrett told the Quad-City Times ( http://bit.ly/zXQPWB) 24-year-old Amy Duggar occasionally performs in his John Denver Tribute shows, but they’ve never been alone together and aren’t having an affair.

He says photos that photographer Teresa Hunt claimed were intimate were “totally benign” and weren’t taken by Hunt.

Investigators say Hunt threatened to release what she called compromising photos of Duggar and Garrett if she wasn’t paid $10,000. Her attorney declined comment.

Garrett says he hired Hunt to be his photographer in 2010 and feels betrayed. But he says “we’re all laughing about” the alleged plot.