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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 08:18 GMT
Actress Winona Ryder arrested
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder has been acting since her teens
Hollywood actress Winona Ryder has been charged with shoplifting and illegal drug possession after being arrested in Beverly Hills.

Police said they arrested Ms Ryder, 30,after security guards suspected her of stealing from the Saks Fifth Avenue store in the upmarket shopping district of Wilshire Boulevard.

It was alleged she was trying to take clothing and hair accessories to the value of $4,760 (£3,295).

She was also allegedly carrying drugs for which she did not have a prescription, according to the Beverly Police Department.

Ms Ryder had been charged with grand theft and possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription, said Lieutenant Gary Gilmond.


Security officers are said to have seen a surveillance video in which Ms Ryder was removing tags from the items, he added.

But the actress has denied the allegations against her through her lawyer Mark Geragos.

He said there had been an misunderstanding on the part of the store and that she was simply carrying items of clothing between departments.

Winona Ryder
The actress was in the UK for the Planet of the Apes première
Mr Geragos also said that his client had probably been charged with possession because she could not immediately produce a prescription for the police.

The star was released from custody on Wednesday night after posting bail of $20,000 (£14,000).


Ms Ryder has twice been nominated for an Oscar for her roles in Little Women and The Age of Innocence.

Other film appearances include Reality Bites and Heathers. She was recently seen in an episode of Friends.

She has had highly publicised problems with depression and exhaustion.

There were concerns for her health earlier this year when she was pictured in London looking tired and gaunt.

She has previously spoken of her attempts to drown out depression and anxiety attacks with alcohol.

She was brought up in an unconventional atmosphere - her godfather was LSD guru Dr Timothy Leary.

She has had high-profile relationships with actor Johnny Depp as well as Matt Damon, who she split from last year.

See also:

14 Dec 01 | Film
Winona Ryder's eclectic career
14 Aug 01 | Film
Stars attend Apes UK première
15 Aug 01 | Film
In Pictures: Apes UK première
28 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
American Beauty's Oscar triumph
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