Entertainment Briefs November 22, 2010
Brand won't face charges in spat
LOS ANGELES - City prosecutors are unlikely to file charges against Russell Brand over a spat with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport, an official said Thursday.
The British actor-comedian met Wednesday with prosecutors, who decided not to pursue charges, city attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
Brand was arrested at the airport in September while traveling with singer Katy Perry, and had been facing a potential charge of misdemeanor simple battery.
The incident was captured on video while Brand and Perry were swarmed by paparazzi as they entered a Delta Air Lines terminal. On the video, Brand is seen swatting at a photographer and hitting his camera.
Brand, 35, and Perry, 26, married at a lavish ceremony in India last month.
A security detail traveling with Brand was accused of roughing up four photographers, including one for The Associated Press, during an outing at a wild tiger reserve in India the day before the couple's wedding. Two men from the wedding party later apologized for the incident, which involved taking the photographers' car keys and stranding them in the tiger reserve.
Because of the apology, no formal police investigation was opened. None of the photographers sought medical care.
Mateljan said a prosecutor would meet with the photographer involved in the LAX incident on Friday. The photographer, whose name was not released, had placed Brand under a citizen's arrest.
Mateljan said that while the office could still file a case against Brand, "it doesn't seem likely."
The decision was first reported by celebrity website RadarOnline.
Brand was a relative unknown in the United States until he hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008. He has since reprised that gig, and he appeared in the film "Get Him to the Greek" this summer. He is slated to play the title character in a remake of "Arthur."
Brand's profile has also been raised by his relationship with Perry, who has several hits including "I Kissed a Girl" and "California Gurls."
LAX has been the site of several dustups between celebrities and the paparazzi. City prosecutors charged Kanye West with misdemeanor battery, vandalism and grand theft for breaking a photographer's flash in September 2008, but the case was later dismissed after the rapper reached a civil settlement and attended anger management classes.
Prosecutors declined to charge former boxer Mike Tyson after his arrest at the airport in November 2009 for allegedly hitting a photographer.
The city attorney's office said it found insufficient evidence to support a case, which Tyson's lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley called a "small victory for those who continue to be harassed, annoyed and even stalked by the paparazzi."
Snipes ordered to surrender in case
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge ordered actor Wesley Snipes to surrender to authorities Friday so he can begin serving a three-year prison sentence for tax-related crimes.
U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges in Ocala, Fla., rejected a request from the actor's attorneys to review Snipes' sentence and grant a new trial. Snipes has been free on bond for more than two years while appealing.
"The defendant Snipes had a fair trial; he has had a full, fair and thorough review of his conviction and sentence. ... The time has come for the judgment to be enforced," the judge wrote in his 16-page decision.
The 48-year-old star of the "Blade" trilogy and Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" was convicted in 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file his income tax returns. He was acquitted of two more serious felony charges.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons would not say where Snipes was to surrender until he was in custody, though inmates generally are placed within 500 miles of their residence, said spokesman Edmond Ross.
Snipes' defense attorney Daniel Meachum said an e-mail to The Associated Press that he plans to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court now.
Meachum said he didn't know when and where Snipes would report to prison, although he said later in an interview that he didn't expect the Bureau of Prisons to take custody of the actor for another five to seven days. Snipes is in Atlanta, preparing to film the movie "Master Daddy."
"Wesley is incredibly calm and positive," Meachum said in an interview in his Atlanta office. "He's wasn't angered. He wasn't bitter."
Snipes' attorneys had argued at a hearing earlier this week that jurors should be interviewed about whether they had perjured themselves by stating during jury selection that they didn't have preconceived opinions about the case.
- The Associated Press