Judge rejects legal bid by Polanski
Los Angeles — A judge on Friday rejected a motion by Roman Polanski’s lawyer to disqualify all judges in Los Angeles County from hearing a bid to dismiss the director’s rape case because of bias.
Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza said the county had 600 judges and that only in extremely rare instances could it be possible to find no judge qualified to preside over the matter. He also said he was not biased against or in favor of Polanski, whose lawyers were seeking to dismiss a conviction in the rape of a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.
“I have not yet decided or prejudged any of the issues presented by counsel for defendant’s motion pending before me,” Espinoza said.
Polanski, 75, has been a fugitive living in France for 31 years after pleading guilty to a single charge of sexual intercourse with a minor. His attorneys filed the dismissal request last month because of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct that was detailed in a television documentary.
Espinoza also said in the ruling Friday that the court’s public information officer had been correct to suggest Polanski had to be present in court for his motion to be heard. The officer, Allan Parachini, was not named in the ruling but had been singled out in a filing by Polanski attorney Chad Hummel.
“In this matter, there is an outstanding arrest warrant that requires the defendant’s presence in court,” Espinoza said. “This reflects the order of the judge who issued the bench warrant.”
Ryan O’Neal pleads guilty to drug charge
Los Angeles — Ryan O’Neal has pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge.
He entered the plea in a Malibu courtroom Friday morning and was ordered into an 18-month drug diversion program.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office says the case will be dismissed if O’Neal successfully completes the program.
The 67-year-old, Oscar-nominated actor was arrested in September along with his son, Redmond, and was later charged with felony methamphetamine possession. Sheriff’s deputies had searched the actor’s home while doing a check on Redmond O’Neal, who was on probation for a previous drug conviction.
Ryan O’Neal was nominated for a best actor Academy Award for 1970’s “Love Story.” Redmond, 23, is his son from a relationship with Farrah Fawcett.
Bono to write column for New York Times
New York — Can he type with those shades on? Bono will write an op-ed column for The New York Times.
The paper announced that his first column will appear Sunday, for which he will also do a podcast. His column will appear occasionally.
Bono called the gig “an honor,” and joked that he’s “never been great with the full stops or commas.”
The Times said the column will cover a broad range of topics.
The 48-year-old U2 rocker has been an advocate in the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa.
Times editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, said Bono “is an extraordinary man who thinks deeply about his art and the major issues confronting the world.”
Swayze hospitalized with pneumonia
Los Angeles — Patrick Swayze has checked himself into the hospital for observation after contracting pneumonia, A&E President Abbe Raven announced Friday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association.
Swayze was scheduled to appear to discuss his upcoming drama “The Beast.”
Robert DeBitetto, A&E’s programming senior vice president, explained his absence.
“Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation,” said DeBitetto. “Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system, and illnesses are a part of that. Patrick wishes me to tell you that he’s very sorry he cannot attend, but plans to get back to promoting ‘The Beast’ soon.”
Earlier this week, Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters that his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him “through hell” while he pushed ahead on his new TV series.
The 56-year-old actor also owned up to his fear: “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m (asking), ’Why me?”’
‘Siblings‘ on ‘Dexter’ now husband and wife
New York — They play brother and sister on “Dexter.” Now in real life, Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter are husband and wife.
Hall’s spokesman, Craig Bankey, said on Friday that the couple eloped in California on New Year’s Eve. They’ll walk the red carpet together at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday — the first time publicly acknowledging their relationship.
Hall, 37, and Carpenter, 29, just finished the third season of “Dexter,” the Showtime series in which Hall plays the murderous title character. They’ve been quietly dating for about a year and a half.