Tom Hanks' jury duty cut short by 'star struck' prosecutor
A DOMESTIC violence court case in America, on which Tom Hanks sat as a juror, has been brought to an early end amid allegations of jury tampering after the Hollywood actor was reportedly approached by a "star struck" member of the prosecutor's office.
Hanks, who had been serving on the Los Angeles jury since the trial began last week, was allegedly approached during a lunch break by a female member of the LA City Attorney's Office who "thanked him, and [said] how impressed everyone is that such a celebrity would still be here serving jury duty".
Lawyers for the defendant, who had been facing a year in jail if convicted on domestic violence charges, today asked for a hearing to prove prosecutorial misconduct.
After a discussion lawyers agreed a plea deal for a lesser charge of disturbing the peace. The defendant pled no contest to this minor infraction, accepted a $150 (£95) fine and the case was dismissed.
Defence lawyer Andrew Flier told TMZ: "The assigned prosecutor on the case gave notice to the court and myself, which was his duty of course under the ethics rules, that he either saw or was told that one of his colleagues had the contact with Mr Hanks. It was not the assigned trial prosecutor."
The approach took place in a stairwell at around midday on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Flier said: "She made contact with Mr Hanks in the stairwell of the building. She came up to him and thanked him, and [said] how impressed everyone is that such a celebrity would still be here serving jury duty".
"She was just being maybe a little star struck and nice."
He made it clear that female prosecutor was not the assigned trial prosecutor, but called it "an absolute 100 per cent no-no" that "should never have happened".
City Attorney's Office spokesperson Frank Mateljan confirmed the events in a statement. He said: "The city attorney has been appraised of the situation and will be reviewing it."
Hanks has not commented publicly.