A man in Hartford, Connecticut is being investigated by the police after allegedly threatening Carl Pavano, an American baseball star who plays for Minnesota Twins, with the revelation that the pair had a gay relationship in high school.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed by police in Connecticut, Christian Bedard, 36, sent Facebook messages to Pavano’s sister, threatening to write a book about the alleged affair unless Pavano apologised to him and bought him a navy Range Rover SUV with tan leather.

The investigation was launched after Pavano’s sister, Michelle DeGennaro, told police in December that she had received several worrying Facebook messages from Mr Bedard, a former classmate of her brother’s.

Mr Bedard – who has not been charged – said on his Facebook page that police took his laptop computer, material relating to his relationship with Pavano and the book he was writing.

The Facebook messages collected by the police said that Mr Pavano was his “first love” and that they had a three-year relationship as teenagers.

According to the affidavit, Mr Bedard allegedly wrote: “I have serious juicy book offers . . . to the point that the only way your brother is getting out of this is with a heartfelt apology and a navy range rover with tan leather . . . if I’m going to drop a $1.2 million book deal I want something.

“That is my best – offer an apology and a land rover and I’ll kill the project.”

In a later message to the Associated Press, Bedard stated: “I have been openly gay for most of my adult life. For years, my physical high school relationship with Carl Pavano has been well-known to my close friends and family. Carl Pavano’s sister, Michelle DeGennaro, contacted me on Facebook asking under what conditions would I not talk about my relationship with Carl.”

Bedard said he asked for an apology in all seriousness – but that his comments about wanting a Range Rover were made “in jest.”

“I did not attempt to extort money from Carl Pavano,” Bedard added. “I have not been charged with any crime. I will allow my local police department to conclude their investigation and I will have no further comment.”

Ms DeGennaro has said she is worried for her brother’s safety, and that she believes Mr Bedard is attempting to extort money from the family.

Pavano has been a pitcher for the Minnesota Twins since 2009, after a season with the Cleveland Indians and three with the New York Yankees. He has issued no comment on the matter so far.