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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Court case to probe Winona's past
Winona Ryder on Monday
Winona Ryder was hurt in a crush outside court
Prosecutors in the court hearing for Winona Ryder on shoplifting charges have said they will attempt to introduce evidence showing the actress's alleged theft was part of a pattern of behaviour.

The star is due to face trial for allegedly stealing clothing from top Los Angeles store Saks Fifth Avenue.

Although Ms Ryder has no previous convictions, a notice filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's suggested the prosecution will try to highlight "prior misdeeds".

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said: "We did file notice of a motion to admit prior acts but we don't discuss evidence unless it is testified on the record."
Winona Ryder at the 2001 Oscars
Ms Ryder has made light of the charges

A Beverley Hills court has ruled Ms Ryder must stand trial on charges of the theft of $4,800 (3,300) worth of merchandise from the department store and possession of a drug without prescription.

The allegations were made by security officer Colleen Rainey, who works at the upmarket Beverley Hills store.

Prison

Ms Ryder was arrested on 12 December last year for allegedly stealing goods including hats, handbags, tops and hair accessories.

The actress, who starred in the film Girl, Interrupted could face up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted.

Ms Rainey told the Beverly Hills Court that her manager instructed her to follow 30-year-old Ryder to the fitting room.

She said: "I saw Winona Ryder in the changing room. She was kneeling on the floor, she was directly in front of the door inside the fitting room."

The security officer added that Ryder cut the security tags from two black designer handbags worth about $400 each, using scissors from her handbag.

Winona Ryder
Ryder claims she has receipts for the clothing
Ms Ryder then tried to remove the security sensors from two more bags, said Ms Rainey.

The items were allegedly recovered when she was arrested outside the shop.

Injured

Ms Ryder's defence said it plans to show she paid for the goods and has receipts as proof.

It will also try to show that security staff targeted her because of her film-star status.

The 30-year-old actress is currently nursing an injured arm after being caught by a camera in a crush outside the court house.

And she was recently seen shrugging off the troubles and making jokes on stage at the MTV Movie Awards.

The actress, who earned Oscar nominations for playing the heroines in the period films Little Women and The Age of Innocence, has been freed on $20,000 (13,700) bail.

She appeared on the cover of the June issue of W magazine wearing one of the Free Winona T-shirts that have become a cult purchase.

See also:

04 Jun 02 | Entertainment
14 Dec 01 | Entertainment
14 Mar 02 | Americas
13 Mar 02 | Entertainment
01 Feb 02 | Entertainment
07 Jun 02 | Entertainment
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