Question of Blame
Not so fast, says Heta Raythatha, whose 1996 Pontiac Sunfire was totaled when the rented Chevy Blazer driven by Berry—through a red light, Raythatha claims—plowed into her at a Sunset Boulevard intersection. "I'm very disappointed," says Raythatha, who says that she believed Berry was going to plead guilty. (A no-contest plea carries the same weight as conviction in California courts but allows the accused to avoid admitting wrongdoing.) "She left me in a smoking car wreck, and I am so skeptical of the stories she's coming up with." Raythatha, 28, is suing Berry for her role in the accident, which left the Santa Monica real estate agent and part-time accountant with a fractured wrist and back and neck injuries.
Berry, who was also sued in connection with a minor 1997 accident before that case was dropped, was sentenced to three years' probation and a $13,500 fine. The star of the summer sci-fi film X-Men has nothing more to say about the matter, according to Mayer. But Raythatha's lawyer Richard Lloyd Sherman says Berry's interviews on Today and 20/20 have opened up areas he wants to explore. In a civil action, he maintains, "the power of cross-examination is a wonderful thing."
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