Criminal charges filed against alleged Oscar trespasser

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Criminal charges filed against alleged Oscar trespasser

Tue Jul 20, 2010 @ 03:45PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

AvilaEXCLUSIVE: Bad news for the actor who traded lawsuits with the motion picture academy after being detained outside the Oscars in March. We've learned that the City of Los Angeles has filed criminal trespass charges against Michael AvMen and his wife, Mandy, for attempting to attend the Academy Awards without tickets.

The AvMens have been ordered to appear in court July 29 to face the charges -- and if they don't, an arrest warrant will be issued.

As you'll recall, AvMen sued the Academy in April for $50 million, claiming false imprisonment after he and his wife were detained for hours outside the Kodak Theater. The Venezuela-born actor (aka Michael Avila), who claims he has small parts in the upcoming "Battle: Los Angeles" and "Straw Dogs," argued that his publicist Kayo Anderson arranged for him to attend the March 7 ceremony and told him that he could pick up his tickets once inside the venue. But when the AvMens arrived on the red carpet without tickets, they said they were "rushed away to an AMPAS detention center where they were held and questioned about how they had been able to get onto the red carpet." Six hours later, they were transferred to the police station and released without any charges.

The Academy later fired back with a cross-complaint alleging trespass and claiming that the Texas-based AvMens admitted in custody that they never had tickets to the event.

Now, while the civil case proceeds with depositions (including of Anderson) and other discovery, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is getting involved.  

AvMen, not one to withhold his feelings, gives us this statement in response to the criminal complaint:
  • “I feel very disturbed to the Fact that AMPAS wants to continue to play a dirty Game of Deception by having the Los Angeles City Attorney File Criminal Trespass Charges against Mandy and I. This is filed months after the facts have come out and the police officers involved questioned and released us without charging us, because they knew we did nothing wrong. In fact the Academy should be facing a series of criminal penalties under both federal and California law, for false imprisonment, Several HUMAN RIGHTS violations against My Wife and I, not only as an Institution but all Individual Persons involved including specifically Attorneys Representing the Academy. I believe those people should not be allowed to Practice law in any State in these United States of America. I will Formally Produce evidence and testimony to both Federal and State District attorneys regarding the matter including the WHITE HOUSE. I am also a VENEZUELAN citizen, so I will ask the VENEZUELAN government to Also Look into HUMAN RIGHTS violation matters. This is very regrettable considering I was to the point of reaching across and making my peace with the academy forgiving their actions, but it is very clear their intentions to inflict harm on Good Citizens who actually Work and Support the Very Industry they operate in just to save face. I would also like to add that in California filing a lawsuit and Using Criminal Prosecution in order to enhance monetary gain is Illegal or at the very least unethical. My Original intention was to file criminal charges against the academy but chose under guidance from my attorney to peruse a civil case and that once a civil case was filed they could not help me with any criminal case should I choose to go that route. I believe the AMPAS attorney, once again have made a terrible mistake, which now I am profoundly determined to make them pay for their actions.”
The Academy declined to comment on the developments.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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