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Zsa Zsa found guilty of cop-slapping

By ANNETTE HADDAD

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Zsa Zsa Gabor, who has portrayed herself as a victimized socialite who acted strictly in self-defense when she slapped a Beverly Hills cop, was found guilty Friday of battery on a police officer.

Gabor, wearing an orange and black print silk dress and a diamond brooch, also was found guilty of driving with an expired license and driving with an open flask of Jack Daniels found in the glove compartment of her $215,000 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible.

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She was acquitted of a fourth charge of disobeying a police officer.

The fiery former Miss Hungary now faces up to 18 months in jail and $3,000 in fines. Her sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 17.

She also was fined $500 Friday by Municipal Court Judge Charles Rubin for calling another police officer who served as a prosecution witness a liar.

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Gabor, who had stomped out of the courtroom during her trial on several occasions, was all smiles and shrugged off the conviction only minutes after the jury announced its verdict.

Accompanied by her eighth husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt of West Germany, Gabor said, 'I'm not shocked. I expected it.'

'There's an old saying, 'You can't fight City Hall,'' she said. 'I don't want to live in Beverly Hills. ... This is ridiculous.'

Shortly before hearing the verdict, Gabor told her only child, Francesca Hilton, 'Don't worry. Momma won't go to jail.'

Her attorney, William Graysen, said Gabor would not decide on whether to appeal the conviction until after sentencing.

Asked if she feared going to jail, Gabor said: 'If I go to jail, Bistro Gardens (an upscale restaurant) said they would serve me food three times a day. And at least I could have some peace and I could write my book. Actually it would be OK.'

Immediately following Gabor's improptu news conference, the courthouse was cleared for about 30 minutes because of a hoax bomb threat.

Gabor, who says she is 66, maintains she was physically and verbally abused by Officer Paul Kramer when he stopped her June 14.

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She said she slapped the hulking officer when he pulled her over a second time after she drove off while he was checking her expired license on his radio. A search of the car turned up the flask of whiskey, which Gabor's husband testified he had left in the Rolls without her knowledge.

During the trial, Gabor said she was 'standing up for the battered women of America.' And, although she repeatedly called Kramer 'gorgeous' and a 'fine specimen,' she also termed him 'Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin in one' and suggested he be shipped off to a kibbutz.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating 12 hours over a three-day period. The three-week trial cost taxpayers $30,000.

'We were very content with the decision we had to come to,' juror Kevin Goodman, a Los Angeles attorney, said, adding that the jury 'tried to pay a lot more attention to what is going on on the stand' and ignore Gabor's outspoken remarks and the hundreds of reporters and paparrazi who tracked her trial.

'We felt a lot of weight as jurors,' he said.

Gabor's defense was partly based on her contention that when Kramer told her to 'f-- off,' she believed it to mean she could drive off after he stopped her for expired registration tags. She also claimed she hit Kramer strictly in self-defense when he stopped her a second time.

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Jurors said they disregarded much of Gabor's testimony because she was so often inconsistent. But they did acquit Gabor of disobeying Kramer for driving off because they believed she misunderstood or did not hear his order.

'We honestly didn't believe she had willfully disobeyed the officer,' said juror Kathy Hudson, 30, a bank employee.

Her defense lawyer attempted to show that Kramer has a history of abusive behavior, alleging that he used excessive force when he yanked Gabor from her car, handcuffed her and forced her to sit on the curb.

'When a policeman uses excessive force, he is no longer a policeman. He has stepped over the line. He has gone from being a policeman to a criminal,' Graysen told the jury in closing arguments. 'Ms. Gabor had every right to slap him.

Kramer, the first witness to testify, said Gabor tried to run him down, cursed him, spat at him and slapped him. Kramer admitted using profanity himself, but only after Gabor continued to struggle as he handcuffed her.

Prosecutor Elden Fox, in summing up the case, told the jury Gabor 'abused' the judicial process for her own 'self-aggrandizement.'

In a statement read on the courthouse steps, police spokesman Lt. Jim Hill said, 'No one deserves vindication more than Officer Paul Kramer' and the department's officers 'will remain dedicated to the principle that no one is above the law.'

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Gabor, who has appeared in such movies as 'Picture Mommy Dead,' 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Boys Night Out,' staged daily performances during her trial that included a coquettish raising of a frilly skirt to display a leg she said Kramer bruised. She also stated that she was too much of a lady to use profanity despite a police videotape of a jailhouse phone call in which she said, 'Some f--- cop pulled me over.'

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