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Garrett and Duggar

James Garrett and Amy Duggar appear on stage at the Little Opry Theatre in Branson, Mo., during "A Tribute to John Denver." (Contributed photo by Susan Callison)

A 56-year-old singer from Branson, Mo., is in at least one photo with 24-year-old Amy Duggar of the hit TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting."

But the photo isn't racy or even intimate, and it wasn't shot by Teresa Hunt, a Bettendorf woman at the center of a federal extortion investigation.

James Garrett shared the photo and his side of the extortion story Monday with the Quad-City Times.

He said he hired Hunt to be his personal photographer in 2010 after she attended one of his concerts and pitched her work. He didn't know she would later be accused of plotting to blackmail him and Amy Duggar on claims revealed in a federal complaint that the two were having an affair and Hunt had the photos to prove it.

"We're all laughing about it," Garrett said, denying the claims.

Amy Duggar occasionally performs in Garrett's John Denver Tribute shows in Branson. But the two have never been alone together, he said.

Duggar's family can vouch for that, he added. Representatives of the family couldn't be reached by the Times for comment.

Court records state that Hunt, 49, had "intimate" photos of Duggar with Garrett and was threatening to leak them to tabloid newspapers if she wasn't paid $10,000 by TLC parent company Discovery Communications Inc.

Letters Hunt mailed to Discovery ended up in FBI hands, and Hunt ended up in jail Feb. 1 on one count of extortion in a federal criminal case.

Her attorney, Jack Dusthimer, said Monday that he's "not taking any position or making any comment" on her case in U.S. District Court, Davenport.

As for the photos referred to in court documents - none of which Hunt shot herself - one has Garrett with his arm around Duggar in a restaurant and another shows the two backstage after a performance in Tennessee, Garrett said.

The photo he shared with the Times was taken onstage at the Little Opry Theatre in Branson, where Garrett and Duggar performed "A Tribute to John Denver," according to the photographer, Sue Callison.

They're "totally benign," Garrett said, adding Hunt must have copied them off his Facebook page.

He said Hunt initially tried to shop the photos to RadarOnline, a celebrity gossip blog, before attempting to use them to extort Discovery.

"When Amy called me and told me about the extortion plot, I laughed so hard," Garrett said.

He described Hunt as a trusted business associate and friend.

"I feel a sense of loss," he said. "I wonder what happened, how did I lose a friend, why did she betray me like that?"