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Archive for Wednesday, June 1, 2005

People in the news

June 1, 2005

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Christian Slater accused of groping woman

New York - Christian Slater, who is appearing in a revival of "The Glass Menagerie" on Broadway, has been arrested on a charge that he groped a woman.

Slater and his girlfriend were arguing at a small grocery store on Manhattan's Upper East Side early Tuesday, a prosecutor said in Manhattan criminal court. Another woman was buying a soda in the store when Slater allegedly walked up behind her and grabbed her buttocks, the prosecutor said.

The woman, who wasn't identified, flagged down police, said police spokesman Detective John Sweeney. Slater, 35, was found nearby and the woman identified him as the man who allegedly groped her.

Slater was charged with third-degree sexual abuse. He didn't enter a plea when he appeared in court, chewing gum and wearing a blue shirt, jeans and a beige jacket. He was given a July 14 court date and left without speaking to reporters.

Assistant Dist. Atty. Vanessa Puzio said Slater cursed at the arresting officer and said, "I didn't do anything. I'm suing you and the police department."

Puzio asked that Slater be ordered to put up $1,000 bail, citing his previous record; the judge denied the request.

Slater, whose screen credits include "Heathers" and "Broken Arrow," filed for divorce earlier this year from TV producer Ryan Haddon.

Big stop in Little Rock

Little Rock, Ark.- Normally, a Jay Leno motorcycle on tour to raise money for tsunami relief wouldn't stop at a Little Rock museum.

That was until the Clinton Presidential Library a few blocks away became a home base of sorts for the country's most prominent tsunami relief effort.

"We thought it was fitting to bring the bike to Little Rock because of President Clinton's efforts in tsunami relief and to help out the Museum of Discovery's newest exhibit," said George Wheatley, director of governmental affairs for Waste Management, which bought the motorcycle on the eBay Internet auction site. "Hopefully, this bike will continue to help raise awareness and funds for the ongoing tsunami relief efforts."

Waste Management raised more than $800,000 for the American Red Cross' aid for victims of the Asian tsunami by purchasing Leno's Harley-Davidson, which the NBC "Tonight Show" host had signed by more than 60 celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx and Nicole Kidman.

The bike will be displayed for a week starting Friday. It will be the first time on its national tour that the bike will be displayed in a museum, Wheatley said.

Church request fails to stop Slipknot concert

Athens, Greece - Slipknot hit the stage despite a request by Greece's Orthodox Church for organizers to cancel the show because of the band's lyrics and references to the devil.

The band performed Monday night at the open-air Lykavitos theater. Concert organizers couldn't be reached for comment.

"The members of the band have a shocking appearance, wearing black uniforms and masks that look like skulls," the church said in a statement, citing a local press report.

The statement added: "Public institutions must do their duty and protect Greek citizens, especially young people, from any public event that promotes satanism."

Slipknot is touring to promote its new CD, "Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)."

Court works on instructions for Michael Jackson jury

Santa Maria, Calif.- Michael Jackson stayed home Tuesday while lawyers and the judge in his child molestation trial tried to work out the instructions the jury will receive before beginning deliberations, likely this week.

After a day of wrangling, Judge Rodney S. Melville said he would finish this morning, bring jurors in at noon and instruct them, then have closing arguments begin Thursday.

One instruction approved by the judge addressed the importance of the TV documentary "Living With Michael Jackson," in which Jackson's future accuser appeared with Jackson and the pop star said he allowed children to sleep in his bed in an innocent, nonsexual way.

"I'm willing to give .... the instruction, 'The video of "Living With Michael Jackson" is not offered for the truth of what is said except for certain identified passages,"' the judge said. "'The rest is considered hearsay, and you can only consider that it aired and its impact if any on Mr. Jackson."'

The passages the judge referred to were not specified in open court.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also argued over how jurors should weigh the credibility of a witness and also debated what the jury should be told about judging Jackson based on the past allegations against him.

Judge Rodney S. Melville said he would tell the jurors they could consider the alleged past acts if they "tend to show intent" on Jackson's part with regard to the crimes with which he is actually charged.

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