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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Sizemore challenges abuse charge
Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore was sentenced to six months for domestic abuse in 2003
Lawyers for Hollywood actor Tom Sizemore are seeking to have his conviction for abusing former girlfriend Heidi Fleiss thrown out.

The 44-year-old actor has appealed against his 2003 conviction, arguing that a photo of Ms Fleiss with facial bruises may have been fabricated.

Tara Dabrizzi took the photograph in April 2003, but left the US the next day and did not testify at the trial.

Sizemore claims witnesses who saw Ms Fleiss at the time saw no bruising.

The actor's lawyer, Michael J Rovell, said they had been unable to find Ms Dabrizzi since her departure from the US in 2003 - and even questioned whether she exists.

Sick mother

Deputy City Attorney Robert Cha, who prosecuted Mr Sizemore, claims Ms Dabrizzi left the country in 2003 because her mother was ill in Iran and did not testify at the trial "because the photograph speaks for itself".

Sizemore was convicted in August 2003 of domestic violence, making criminal threats and harassing Ms Fleiss.

He had a stormy year-long relationship with the former Hollywood madam, who was herself jailed for running a call-girl ring for Hollywood's rich and famous during the 1990s.

The Saving Private Ryan star was sentenced to six months in prison. Jail was postponed to allow Sizemore to complete a drug rehabilitation course.

The actor was subsequently sentenced to 17 months in March 2005 for violating his probation, this time on drugs charges, but was freed on $25,000 (14,134) pending an appeal.

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