A Beverly Hills jury found actress Winona Ryder guilty of grand theft and vandalism Wednesday, but acquitted her on a charge of commercial burglary.
The Oscar-nominated star of "Girl, Interrupted" and "Little Women" was arrested in December 2001 and accused of shoplifting from Saks Fifth Avenue, near the world-famous Rodeo Drive shopping district. After five days of testimony last week, the case went to the jury Monday afternoon.
Ryder, 31, was charged with stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise. She faced up to three years in prison if convicted on all charges. Superior Court Judge Elden Fox scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 6.
In her closing argument, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle told the jury the case against Ryder was clear. "She came, she stole, she left, end of story," said Rundle.
During the trial, the jury watched a store security videotape that prosecutors said showed Ryder clipping security tags from merchandise and stuffing items in her bag.
Rundle asked the jury to decide whether the tape showed "a glamorous celebrity" or someone preparing to shoplift. Ryder's lawyer Mark Geragos argued the tape only showed Ryder was on a "legitimate" shopping trip -- not stealing.
(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Hollywood)
REPORT: J. LO, AFFLECK ENGAGED
Despite the fact the diva has been sporting a gigantic diamond ring on her engagement finger for the past month, Lopez and the "Pearl Harbor" star have vehemently denied reports they are betrothed.
Word from New York Post columnist Cindy Adams, however, is the Bronx native will announce her engagement on TV's "Primetime" next week during an interview with Diane Sawyer.
This will be the first marriage for Affleck and the third for Lopez, whose divorce from second husband Cris Judd will not even be finalized until January.
The "Jersey Girl" and "Gigli" co-stars began dating openly in June 2002.
Wonder where they'll register...
BANDERAS: SUPPORTING ROLES FINE WITH ME
"Femme Fatale" star Antonio Banderas says he has no problem playing supporting roles -- as long as they are in films he enjoys making.
Speaking with reporters at a recent news junket for his new thriller, the 42-year-old Spaniard admitted, "I don't care about my career at all."
"(Some actors) might have a better career than me, but they will also have less fun. I just love to work in those things I love. Sometimes people say: 'Why do you do 'Spy Kids?' It's not a movie for you.' I had a great time tossing around ideas with Robert Rodriguez and I had a blast with the kids," he explained.
Asked how he first got involved with Brian De Palma's latest project, the 42-year-old actor said it was partly because his wife, Melanie Griffith, had had such a positive experience working with the "Scarface" director on the films "Body Double" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities."
"Brian De Palma had a very strong relationship with my wife. They made two movies together," Banderas noted. "So, for me there was no other motive other than to have fun with someone like him."
So, why did he stop working with his other director/friend Pedro Almodovar, with whom he made five films during the 1980s?
"I stopped working with Almodovar 12 years ago when I came to America, but I didn't have in mind the idea of developing a career in America," Banderas explained. "In fact, I went back to Spain and worked awhile there, then I started going back and forth. Then Melanie came along, she had two kids, they had fathers. Somebody had to make a decision. I didn't like the idea of having the kids travel 50,000 miles, all around the world in 10 weeks, so that's why I moved to America. It was more a personal reason than a professional," he confessed.
"Femme Fatale," which co-stars Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, opens today. Banderas can also be seen in "Frida," in theaters now.
MIRAMAX ACQUIRES RIGHTS TO GRIFFIN COMEDY
Miramax says it has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Eddie Griffin's "Dysfunktional Family," a hilariously raunchy concert film directed by "Bad Boys" scribe George Gallo.
Scheduled for release in February 2003, "Dysfunktional Family" prominently features Griffin's no-holds barred, real-life interviews with his family in Kansas City, integrated into the comedy star's over-the-top, stand-up performance.
The film showcases Griffin's raucous and frank take on life, family and celebrity, prompting Miramax to warn in press material, "If you think 'The Osbournes' are outrageous, you haven't seen anything yet..."
Griffin appeared on the big-screen earlier this year in the comedies "The New Guy" and "Undercover Brother."
NY PREVIEWS NEW BOCELLI CD
Famed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performed several arias from his new CD "Sentimento" at New York's American Museum of Natural History earlier this week.
The 44-year-old singer was accompanied musically by New York Philharmonic director and violinist Lorin Maazel and romantically by new girlfriend Veronica Berti.
Bocelli, who is one of the best-selling performing artists in the world, and his wife, Enrica, recently separated after 10 years together.
A review from the Boston Herald by T.J. Medrek calls the new CD, which hit record stores Tuesday, "an utterly charming exercise in nostalgia that's impossible not to love."
"The disc is filled with Palm Court-style arrangements by conductor Lorin Maazel of classic Italian songs and more, in the form of duets for tenor and violin (played by Maazel himself) with accompaniment by the London Symphony Orchestra," Medrek wrote.
According to the CD's liner notes, the concept for "Sentimento" comes from the early 20th century partnership between Irish tenor John McCormack and violinist Fritz Kreisler.