Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHY I STOLE, BY WINONA RYDER; Director Ordered Me to Shoplift to Prepare for New Film Role, Says Star

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHY I STOLE, BY WINONA RYDER; Director Ordered Me to Shoplift to Prepare for New Film Role, Says Star

Article excerpt

Byline: HUGH MUIR;ADAM BLENFORD

HOLLYWOOD star Winona Ryder claimed she stole from a Beverly Hills store to prepare for a film role, a court heard today.

She said a film director told her to shoplift to give the movie authenticity. The testimony, from a security guard, came as the actress appeared in court facing grand theft, burglary and vandalism charges which could see her jailed for up to three years.

However, the prosecution says the star of films such as Edward Scissorhands took scissors, a large shopping bag and tissue paper to Saks Fifth Avenue a year ago "with the intent to steal". She paid for four items but had 20 extra things in her bags and under her clothing.

Deputy district attorney Ann Rundle told Beverly Hills Superior Court: "All this amounts to a simple case of theft."

Security guard Ken Evans told the jury how he confronted Ryder, who is 31 today, after he watched her acting suspiciously. "She was polite but apologetic," he said. "She said, 'I'm sorry for what I did' and kept her head down. Then she said, 'I did it because a movie director told me to shoplift to prepare for a movie role'."

Mr Evans said his suspicions were initially raised by the number of bags Ryder was carrying and the fact that she never checked sizes or prices of the items she selected. He said: "I saw her trying on hats and place a number of items into a bag."

Asked to describe the items, he said: "A white Calvin Klein handbag, pairs of socks, hair accessories, hats, a Dolce and Gabbana handbag and a blue handbag."

After she selected more items and entered a dressing room, Mr Evans told another store detective to watch Ryder inside the changing room.

"When the defendant came out, all the items were no longer in her possession," he said. "I also noticed that one of the shopping bags she had been carrying was a lot fuller. …

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