A list L.A. locations that made the headlines.
The sites of famous celebrity scandals, crimes, accidents, hijinks…
and occasional celebrity heroics.
The corner of Wilcox Ave. & Silma Ave., in Hollywood: the intersection where Paris Hilton was arrested by police on a misdemeanor charge of suspicion of driving under the influence, just after midnight on Sept. 7, 2006. Paris had just left a charity event at Dragonfly bar (at 6510 Santa Monica Blvd), and was driving her $252,000 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren north up Wilcox, headed for an In-&-Out Burger (at 7009 W. Sunset Blvd)., when cops saw her driving erratically and pulled her over. The breathalizer test showed the bare minimum (0.08) needed for the DUI bust, and Paris insisted that she had only had a single margarita on an empty stomach: “I was starving because I had not eaten all day… I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In-N-Out Burger.” Kimberly Stewart, the daughter of singer Rod Stewart, was also in the car at the time. Paris was booked at the nearby Hollywood police station and released. Her sister, Nicky Hilton, picked her up.
20300 block of Pacific Coast Highway, in Malibu: the area where, on at 2:30 a.m. on July 28, 2006, Mel Gibson (“The Road Warrior“, “Lethal Weapon“) was stopped by police in his Lexus LS430 while doing 87 mph in a 45 mph zone. It’s not surprising that ‘Mad Max’ might be speeding – the real problem was that he was then arrested for driving under the influence – and apparently he didn’t behave nicely while drunk, berating the cop who arrested him and spewing out a lot of offensive rhetoric. He was taken to a Malibu police station, and was later released on $5,000 bail. (It was his first drunk driving offense in the U.S., so he didn’t face jail time – just a lot of negative publicity.)
To his credit, Mel immediately owned up to it once he was sober, issuing a statement that read: “I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested. I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior, and for that I am truly sorry. I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse.”
Earlier, he had been drinking and posing for photos with fans on the patio bar of the beachside Moonshadow’s restaurant (20356 Pacific Coast Highway). By 2 a.m., the fans were concerned enough about his condition to offer him a ride home, but he shrugged it off
Third Street & Sweetzer Avenue, in West L.A.: the intersection where the car driven by actress Lindsay Lohan (“Herbie: Fully Loaded”, “Mean Girls”, “Freaky Friday”) was allegedly rammed by a crazed paparazzi. On May 31, 2005, Lindsay realized that she was being followed by a van. She called the cops on her cell phone, and when she spotted a police car on Third Street, she started to make a U-turn to hail them, but according to reports, the van then deliberately rammed her brand new Mercedes-Benz. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The driver, photographer Galo Ramirez, was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon. The case is still pending. (The intersection is located just east of the Beverly Center mall, and just west of Farmers Market and The Grove.)
- 9600 Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills: the Saks Fifth Avenue store where, on Dec. 12, 2001, actress Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting $5,560
- worth of merchandise.
- Store security officers said they saw her remove security tags from the store items, place them in her bag and leave the store. At a later trial, she was acquitted of burglary, but convicted of grand theft and vandalism, and in December 2002, she was was sentenced to three years probation and 480 hours of community service.
The store is located at the corner of Wilshire & Bedford Drive, just three blocks west of Rodeo Drive.
- The corner of Sunset Boulevard & Courtney Avenue, in Hollywood: the spot where, in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995, actor Hugh Grant (“Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Nine Months“) picked up a prostitute – less than a mile west of Mann’s Chinese Theatre. He drove around the corner and parked in a residential area (at the corner of Hawthorne & Curson), where police arrested him (and the hooker) for lewd conduct. Hugh Grant pleaded no contest to the charges, paid a $1,200 fine, and was placed on two years’ probation.
- Will Rogers Memorial Park, at 9650 Sunset Blvd., in Beverly Hills: the park where, on April 7, 1998, British pop singer George Michael (formerly of Wham!) was arrested for performing a lewd act (while alone) in a public restroom. The star pleaded no contest, paid an $810 fine, and was ordered to undergo counseling. Michael later dressed as a cop and made light of the incident in his music video “Outside.”(Don’t confuse this Will Rogers Memorial Park with the much larger Will Rogers State Historic Park. This smaller park is located right across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel.)
- The 2200 block of Benedict Canyon Drive, in Beverly Hills: the spot where Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (“Platoon,” “JFK,” “Natural Born Killers“) was arrested just before midnight on July 16, 1999 on charges of drunken driving and felony possession of hashish (which police allegedly found in his black Ford Mustang.) Police said they had followed him from Wilshire Blvd, and had observed him commit multiple traffic violations. He posted $12,500 bail and was released the next morning. He later pleaded no contest to the possession and DUI charges, and got a suspended sentence in return for entering a drug rehab program. .
- 10445 Wilshire Blvd., West Los Angeles: the L’Elysee high-rise condominium where actor Christian Slater was arrested for several counts of assault & battery on August 11, 1997. The 27-year-old actor (star of “Broken Arrow“) had been attending a party with friends when a scuffle broke out; apparently Slater was abusive toward his girlfriend and another man attempted to intervene. Slater allegedly bit him on the stomach, and fought with police who attempted to arrest him (they found him in the stairwell between the 8th and 9th floors of the condo). He later told police that he had been binging on heroin & cocaine and going without sleep. He served 59 days in jail.
- 8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood: The Viper Room (again), where, in 1996, rocker Tommy Lee (of Mötley Crüe) was convicted of battery after he pushed over a photographer (Henry Trappler) who tried to take a photo of he and wife Pamela Anderson Lee outside the Viper Room on Sept. 26, 1996. Lee was fined and sentenced to a 24-month summary probation and 200 hours of community service. (In May of the same year he was sentenced to six months in jail for kicking his wife at their Malibu home.)
- 4641 Havenhurst Avenue, Encino: in November of 1993, police searched singer Michael Jackson‘s family compound here in the San Fernando Valley, looking for evidence that might support charges of child molestation against Jackson. The criminal case was dropped for lack of evidence. Jackson settled the civil lawsuit out of court with the boy (for a reported $20 million), while insisting that he was innocent. Michael’s sister, LaToya Jackson, had earlier alleged that she had been abused as a child by her father at this same Jackson family home.
- The corner of Riverside Drive & Moorpark Street in Studio City (near the Lakeside Golf Course): on February 8, 1994, actor Jack Nicholson (star of “Chinatown,” “As Good As It Gets.” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“) allegedly jumped out of his car at this intersection and attacked motorist Robert Blank’s Mercedes-Benz with a golf club – when Blank cut him off in traffic. After smashing the car’s windshield and denting its roof with his golf club, Jack allegedly got back into his own Mercedes and drove away. Nicholson was charged with misdemeanor assault and vandalism, and Blank sued him, claiming assault & battery. But the civil suit was settled out of court, and the criminal case was dropped. Jack later said, in his defense, that a friend of his had just died, and that he (Jack) had been up all night playing a maniac in a movi
The intersection of Sunset Blvd & Doheny Drive, West Hollywood: where, on February 23, 2000, actress Halle Berry, driving was alone in a rented Chevy Blazer, when she allegedly ran a red light and smashed into another car, and just kept going. Berry suffered a gash on her forehead which required 20 stiches, a mitigating factor which may explain why she was charged with the misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident, rather than a hit-and-run felony. She reported the accident to a police officer at the hospital. The driver of the other car suffered a broken wrist, and sued the actress for “gross negligence.” The suit alleges that Berry had been driving while “under the influence,” but investigators concluded there was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved. She pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge, and was placed on three years’ probation and ordered to pay $14,000 in fines, and to do 200 hours of community service. The civil suit is still pending.