Celebrities, cameras and theatrics strain courts

Last Updated 10 July 2010, 16:15 IST

Meanwhile, a downtown jury gave Don Johnson $23.2 million for arrears on “Nash Bridges”, a judge let stand charges against Anna Nicole Smith’s doctor, Jesse James fought a breach of contract claim and Leif Garrett faced a heroin rap.
Also,  Lohan, in another Beverly Hills court, dealt with a suit over the emotional distress of someone she is accused of chasing with her sport utility vehicle.
And, Monday was a legal holiday.

If things were not busy enough, by midweek the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had acknowledged opening a domestic violence investigation involving Mel Gibson and Russian model Oksana Grigorieva, with whom he has a child. Stretched to the limit by budget cuts and a rising caseload, the Los Angeles County justice system has been struggling to contend with what appears to be a growing number of celebrities gone bad, done wrong, or otherwise in need of adjudication.

Gibson, who went through the courts in 2006 after a drunken-driving arrest, with an accompanying anti-Semitic outburst, could be headed back into the mill in the next few weeks if the authorities decide he abused Grigorieva.

What is not in doubt is that courts here are investing far more time, energy and cash in tending the famous than they did only a few years ago.
A frequent debate concerns whether stars should be required to stand in line with the hundreds of people who arrive daily to deal with traffic violations, or should be given backdoor access to the court.

By and large, a celebrity case means beefed up security, at considerable cost.
The New York Times

(Published 10 July 2010, 16:15 IST)

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