BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 12:03 GMT
Winona 'shoplifted for role'
Winona Ryder arriving at court with lawyer Mark Geragos
Winona Ryder arriving at court with her lawyer
US actress Winona Ryder has gone on trial in California on charges of shoplifting $5,560 (3,566) of designer items from an exclusive department store.


Unlike other shoppers she... came with the intent to steal

Ann Rundle
Prosecutor

On the first day of the trial on Monday, a store security manager told the court that when he confronted Ms Ryder with the goods she had concealed, the actress claimed she had been preparing for a role.

Ms Ryder is accused of ripping security tags off 20 items and trying to leave the store without paying for them.

The actress denies felony charges of grand theft, commercial burglary and vandalism.

The prosecution intends to show a security video which it says proves Ms Ryder filled up bags as she went in and out of changing rooms.

She could face up to three years in jail if convicted.

Shopper interrupted

The incident happened in December at the exclusive Saks Fifth Avenue store in Beverly Hills.

Ms Ryder was stopped leaving the store with 20 unpaid items of designer clothes, handbags and accessories on her person and in her shopping bags.

Winona Ryder in Mr Deeds
Ryder recently starred in the movie Mr Deeds

Saks security manager Kenneth Evans testified that when confronted Ms Ryder was "polite and apologetic".

The actress then told him "my director directed me to shoplift in preparation for a role I am preparing," he added.

But since her arrest, no film about shoplifting has been made.

Prosecutor Ann Rundle told the Beverly Hills Superior Court that it was "a simple case of theft".

Ms Rundle said the star had gone to the store with scissors, a garment bag and tissue paper.

The actress bought four items but stole another 20, Ms Rundle said.

"She came prepared to buy with her cash and credit cards, but unlike other shoppers she also came with the intent to steal," she told the court.

'Changed story'

Ms Rundle, a deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, was making her opening statements in the trial.

Ms Ryder's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said in his opening statement that several Saks employees, who will be witnesses in court, changed their stories after a video was found not to show the actress stealing.

Ms Ryder is best known for roles in films including Alien: Resurrection, Mr Deeds and Girl, Interrupted.

The trial is expected to last for between five and seven days.

The jury contains several of Ms Ryder's Hollywood peers - including the former head of Sony Pictures, the studio that made three of her best-known films.

Judge Elden Fox has banned the jurors from shopping at the department store during the trial.

It is not yet known whether Ms Ryder will give evidence during the trial.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Willis
"The suggestion drew laughter from the public gallery"
See also:

25 Oct 02 | Entertainment
24 Oct 02 | Entertainment
16 Oct 02 | Entertainment
11 Jun 02 | Entertainment
14 Dec 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes