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Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
West Wing creator pleads innocent
The cast of the West Wing
West Wing won a record nine Emmys in 2000
The creator of TV political drama The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin, has pleaded innocent on drug charges at a Los Angeles court.

Mr Sorkin, 39, was arrested at Burbank Airport, Los Angeles on 15 April, after security officers found a small bag suspected of containing drugs in his hand luggage.

Aaron Sorkin
Sorkin: $15m deal with Warner Bros TV

He has been charged with two felony counts of drug possession - one for hallucinogenic mushrooms and one for cocaine - and one misdemeanour count for marijuana.

"He and his family are taking all necessary steps to ensure that he deals with the legal and personal matters at hand appropriately," Sorkin's attorney Steve Sitkoff said outside the court on Wednesday.

Exclusive deal

Sorkin - who wrote the films A Few Good Men and The American President - has been on $10,000 (7,000) bail since his arrest.

Prosecutors want his bail increased to $20,000.

Sorkin, who is from New York, won an Emmy for his work on The West Wing, which stars Martin Sheen as the American president.

The show won a record nine Emmys in 2000.

He has also worked on Schindler's List, Enemy of the State and The Rock.

Last July, he signed a four-year deal with Warner Bros TV for a reported $15m (10.5m) - the first time he has signed an exclusive long-term production deal.

If convicted Sorkin could face up to three years in prison, but may be eligible for a drug diversion programme.

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01 May 01 | TV and Radio
West Wing creator charged
17 Apr 01 | Entertainment
West Wing creator arrested
11 Sep 00 | Entertainment
The West Wing sweeps Emmys
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