Baldwin, Blake, Love: It's Celebrity Court
If you were hoping for a celebrity sighting Monday, outside a courtroom was the place to be.
Motions, decisions and rulings were issued in high-profile cases around the country for a number of celebrities, including Courtney Love, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, Robert Blake and P. Diddy.
Several of the cases played out in Los Angeles, including a hearing for Courtney Love, who made a quick appearance with a new lawyer in tow. The rocker appeared before a judge to face misdemeanor charges of being under the influence of prescription painkillers, Reuters reports. She was charged following an Oct. 2 arrest outside the Beverly Hills home of a boyfriend where she was allegedly breaking windows.
Love, 39, will stand trial in two weeks, if the case is not settled by then. The former Hole singer said she fired her previous attorney after "he wanted me to plead guilty to something I didn't do."
If she pleads guilty to the charges she will be able to enter a drug program and eventually have the conviction removed from her record, a spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said. Love also faces felony charges of possession of prescription painkillers stemming from the same arrest.
In a separate Los Angeles courtroom, attorneys for actors Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger agreed on one thing: The media has no place at the estranged Hollywood couple's custody hearing for their 8-year-old daughter Ireland, Reuters reports.
The judge in the case agreed, and members of the press were removed from the courtroom.
The actors -- who were married for seven years before separating in late 2000 and divorcing just over a year later -- sat at separate ends of a long table and did not speak or look at one another. An attorney for Basinger said, "There's going to be a media frenzy and the person who is going to be most affected is Ireland." Baldwin's attorney agreed.
Also on Monday, a judge ordered Robert Blake to find a new attorney within a week and prepare himself for a September trial, the Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, the actor parted ways with Thomas Mesereau, his most recent attorney, just a couple weeks before jury selection was scheduled to being in the case. Mesereau claimed that he and Blake had "irreconcilable differences."
He was the third attorney to ask to be removed as Blake's counsel, Reuters reports. Blake, 70, is charged with murdering his wife Bonny Lee Bakley outside a Los Angeles restaurant in 2001.
Prosecutors claim the former "Baretta" star has not found an attorney in order to delay the case. "This is partially a ploy to keep Mr. Blake out of custody," a deputy district attorney said. Blake has been free on bail since last year. Regardless, the judge ordered Blake to return to court with a new attorney in one week and to be prepared for a Sept. 9 start date for his trial.
"I want this trial, once it gets started, to continue uninterrupted," the judge said.
Finally, in Detroit, hip-hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs came out on the winning side of a suit filed against him by a talk-show host named Roger Mills. Mills claimed he was "roughed up" by associates of Combs during a 1999 interview, AP reports.
According to his suit, Mills asked Combs during an interview to comment on allegations that he was involved in the death of rapper Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace.
Mills says that Combs's entourage assaulted him, stole the interview tape and broke his camera. Combs said he did not recall the incident, and a jury sided with the music star. "We've got a case here where a fruitless lawsuit was brought against Mr. Combs," an attorney for P. Diddy said. "And I think the jury came out loud and clear and said the same thing."
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