A photographer who was involved in a street scuffle with actor Sam Worthington has had his assault and harassment lawsuit dismissed. Sheng Li was arrested in February (14) alongside the Avatar star after they became embroiled in an altercation outside a New York bar, following an argument between the snapper and Worthington's girlfriend Lara Bingle.
Both men were slapped with counts of assault, but on Thursday (08May14) Li's charges were dismissed in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Assistant District Attorney Francesca Bartolomey confirms, "When Ms. Bingle's boyfriend arrived at the scene, he admittedly punched this defendant in the face. After careful evaluation of the facts and in consideration of the injuries sustained by both the victim and the defendant, the People move to dismiss the case against the defendant in the interest of justice."
Last month (Apr14), Worthington reached a deal with prosecutors to have his third-degree assault, third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment charges dismissed, as long as he stays out of trouble.
Li's lawyer Mark Heller has filed a criminal complaint calling for a federal probe into how the case was handled.
A lawyer for the photographer caught up in a scuffle with Sam Worthington is calling for a federal probe into the case after the assault charges against the actor were dismissed. The Avatar star was arrested in February (14) alongside snapper Sheng Li after they got into a fight in New York following an argument between Li and Worthington's girlfriend Lara Bingle.
Last month (Apr14) Worthington, who claimed he acted in defence of Bingle, reached a conditional dismissal deal. His assault, attempted assault and harassment charges were dismissed as long as he stays out of trouble.
Li's lawyer Mark Jay Heller has now filed a complaint at Manhattan's federal court, demanding an investigation into how the case was handled.
He believes officials "failed and refused" to charge the actor with felony assault, attempted robbery and filing a false report, according to legal documents obtained by New York Post gossip column Page Six. He adds that Worthington's fame impacted on the case.
In the documents, Heller claims Bingle should have also been charged because videos "clearly depict a brutal assault by Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle upon the victim Sheng Li, as well as an attempted robbery by them of the victim's cameras".
Snapper Li is due in court on Thursday (08May14) to fight charges of harassment, assault and reckless endangerment.
A lawyer for the photographer who recently became involved in a bust-up with Sam Worthington has called on New York authorities to arrest the actor's girlfriend, model Lara Bingle, amid allegations she helped her beau attack him. The Avatar star and paparazzo Sheng Li were both arrested in February (14) after they were involved in an altercation outside a Big Apple bar.
They have been charged with assault, and on Tuesday (01Apr14), Li appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court with his attorney, Mark Heller, who urged the judge to issue a warrant for Bingle's arrest.
Heller claims the model sparked the fight on 23 February (14) by allegedly tussling with Li and trying to grab his camera, prompting Worthington to step in and defend his girlfriend.
Li emerged from the brawl with a number of injuries, which have reportedly left him unable to work.
Heller told the judge, "He's got some very serious medical injuries. As a result he may have to go in for a very extensive and expensive operation and he may be deprived of earning a living in the future. His hand has been impaired. He has torn tendons, he has bulging discs."
He added of Bingle's alleged involvement, "She was the aggressor. There has to be a warrant issued for her arrest, she has to be charged with a felony assault and attempted robbery."
During Tuesday's brief hearing, Li rejected a plea deal with prosecutors, who offered to drop the assault and harassment charges against him if he stayed out of trouble for six months. Instead, Heller argued for an unconditional dismissal of all counts.
The judge has yet to rule on the motion.
Worthington is also facing two counts of third degree assault, one of attempted assault and another of harassment.
Bingle obtained a restraining order against Li following the incident, while the paparazzo also took out an order of protection against Worthington.
A lawyer for Lindsay Lohan's mother Dina has blamed the stress of constantly trying to avoid the paparazzi for causing her client's drink-driving arrest in Long Island, New York last month (Sep13). Dina Lohan was hit with charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and speeding after she was pulled over near her Long Island home on 12 September (13).
Police found her to have a blood alcohol level of more than double the state's legal limit of 0.8 per cent, but she pleaded not guilty to the counts recently, when a judge suspended her licence and released her without bail.
She was back in court on Wednesday (23Oct13), and, after a routine hearing, her lawyer Mark Heller read out a report from a court-appointed evaluator, suggesting the judge should take into account the "circumstances and challenges of Dina's lifestyle... in prosecuting this case".
Heller claims the evaluator also insisted the 50 year old did not need alcohol abuse treatment, adding, "The report said, concerning Ms. Lohan, there is no indication that Dina suffers from abuse or dependence. Her driving record is remarkably unblemished. Therefore, treatment is not being recommended."
The favourable evaluation will come as some relief for Dina - her famous daughter recently completed a 90-day court-ordered stint in rehab after struggling with her own substance abuse issues for years.
Think of celebrities as our gladiator class: they step into the ring and do all sorts of stuff we'd never dream of doing ourselves. We watch through our fingers when they do, but we never look away. We love them as specimens, powerful in ways we could never be. We love them for being more perfect than we are. But we also love them when they're not.
It's not exactly Schadenfreude, the self-affirmation we feel when someone with every advantage fails. Okay, maybe we did delight in that Britney head-shaving, but there's something else in there, and it's not really about wanting them to feel bad. It's about us feeling good when we forgive them. It's reverse Schadenfreude, if you will, founded in our Puritan past.
So feel free to falter, Kardashians. Steal Taylor's spotlight, Kanye, we totally understand. And yes, Anne Heche, there really is a spaceship waiting to take you to heaven.
Let loose your grip Hollywood. We'll be there to catch you when you fall. And we'll be feeling fantastic about ourselves while we do.
Embattled actress Lindsay Lohan is "happy" and "healthy" as she serves out a court-ordered stint in rehab, according to her mother Dina Lohan. The Mean Girls star checked into the Betty Ford clinic in California on 3 May (13) as part of a plea deal to avoid jail after she confessed to lying to police officers about a traffic accident last year (12), violating her probation on a jewellery theft charge.
Lohan reached out to her mum on Sunday (12May13) to mark America's Mother's Day, and Dina reveals the actress is doing well as she continues with her 90-day treatment.
She tells the New York Daily News, "I just spoke to Lindsay at Betty Ford. She's doing great. She's clear, she's happy, she's healthy."
Lohan's mother had planned to visit her daughter to mark the special day, but the star insisted she stay in New York with her siblings.
Dina Lohan also slammed reports the 26 year old wanted to leave the clinic after bosses allegedly confiscated her Adderall medication, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
She adds, "I don't know who's saying that. It's so evil. Lindsay will do what she has to do. She just needs to breathe and find out who she is again. And she's going to stay there and do that."
The 50 year old also revealed her daughter's former legal representative Mark Heller worked for free on the case, stating, "He's an angel too. He works for us for no money."
Lohan has officially re-hired her former lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley to help her deal with the case.
Embattled actress Lindsay Lohan has officially re-hired her former lawyer Shawn Holley after the legal eagle stepped up to help the actress avoid another jail stint following her rehab debacle last week (ends03May13). The Mean Girls star faced a race against time to check into a court-ordered treatment programme by her deadline on Thursday (02May13) after ditching an approved New York clinic for the Morningside Recovery centre in Newport Beach - only to walk out of the Orange County facility less than an hour after arriving.
She subsequently checked into the Betty Ford Clinic after Lohan's mum called on Holley to step in and help her daughter avoid another arrest. The lawyer manager to find the star a place at the Rancho Mirage, California rehab facility - prompting prosecutors to drop their threat to obtain a warrant for Lohan's arrest.
Holley resumed her duties as Lohan's lawyer on Monday morning (06May13) and attended a hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where Judge James R. Dabney officially removed the actress' other legal representative, Mark Heller, from the case.
Judge Dabney even praised Holley for helping to keep the actress out of trouble, saying, "You snatched her from the precipice."
Prosecutors expressed concern over the 30-day treatment programmes provided by Betty Ford bosses, but Holley insisted there were three-month sessions available, and the judge gave his approval to the facility, reports TMZ.com.
Holley originally quit as Lohan's lawyer in January (13) after her client asked New York-based attorney Heller to take over her case, just a day before her plea hearing to fight probation violation charges.
It subsequently emerged that Heller was not licensed to practice law in Los Angeles and he had to be sponsored by a local law firm to take up the job.
A source close to Lohan and her ongoing legal woes tells WENN, "Shawn Holley is a rock star. Very few people could have pulled off what she did to get Lindsay into the Betty Ford Clinic."
Lindsay Lohan has checked into a California rehabilitation facility to begin a court-ordered 90-day treatment programme. The Mean Girls star was expected to enroll in the luxury Seafield Center in New York's Hamptons, which had been approved by the court, after pleading no contest to charges relating to a car crash in California last summer (12). However, she left the Big Apple on a flight bound for Los Angeles late on Wednesday night (01May13) and instead made her way to the Morningside Recovery clinic in Newport Beach, California.
The last-minute change prompted her lawyer, Mark Heller, to head to a Los Angeles court early on Thursday in a bid to get the new treatment facility approved by the star's judge - even though Lohan had already checked in. Prosecutor Terry White objected to the late alteration, arguing that he had only learned about Lohan's decision to switch programmes from the media and had not been given enough time to investigate the treatment centre. White also expressed concerns about the quality of care provided by Morningside bosses, pointing out that executives had had their medical licence suspended in 2012 over an issue with the management of prescription drugs. However, Judge James R. Dabney insisted the facility appeared to be acceptable, and ordered prosecutors to report back to him to give their official judgement by 10 May (13), reports TMZ.com.
Lohan had reportedly bailed on the Seafield Center as the facility bans patients from smoking. Meanwhile, the troubled actress' father, Michael Lohan, insists his daughter had "no idea" that Morningside hadn't been approved as her rehab site when she checked in. He tells CNN.com, "It's not her fault. This poor kid was a mess before she left." The actress avoided jail in a last-minute deal by pleading no contest to misdemeanour reckless driving and providing false information to police. She was ordered to spend 90 days in rehab and she must also attend 18 months of psychotherapy sessions and serve 30 days of community service. In pleading no contest, Lohan admitted she had violated her probation in a 2011 shoplifting case.
The dwindling population of Lindsay Lohan apologists was holding strong to this latest inception of the 26-year-old actress' rehabilitation program. Following a recent court appearance over an episode of reckless driving, Lohan was sentenced to undertake a stint in a locked rehab facility for a period of 90 days, which she kicked off on Thursday. Those sustaining faith in the reformation of the uninhibited Long Islander cheered: This is it! She's taking steps to better herself! Everything's comin' up Lohan!
But no. Turns out the rehab center into which she checked isn't exactly going over too well with the courts.
Yahoo! News reports that a prosecutor in the Lohan case has taken issue with the center in question — Morningside Recovery — claiming that it was not the Southern California facility upon which the legal teams agreed and that it has not been approved as a credible institution.
In response to the prosecution's allegations, Lohan's attorney Mark Jay Heller said (ever so poetically), "My client is ensconced in the bosom of that facility right now ... She's in rehab right now. Nothing bad is going to happen," and urged Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney to approve of the facility.
While Dabney seemed to deem Morningside an acceptable rehabilitation program, he agreed to withhold a decision upon whether or not to transfer Lohan to a separate facility until Santa Monica Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White has had time to investigate her present surroundings.
And so, even in her efforts to rid herself of substance problems and develop a clean legal record on top of a new reputation, Lohan stirs the pot. But hey, she's in rehab for alcohol, not bein' wacky!
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
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Lindsay Lohan's lawyer has shot down rumours the troubled actress has threatened to quit her court-ordered rehab stint if she is banned from taking her prescription medication. The Mean Girls star is due to check into a treatment centre by 2 May (13) to begin a 90-day stay, but multiple reports have suggested the 26 year old is refusing to stop taking Adderall, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
However, Lohan's attorney Mark Heller is adamant his client will be taking rehab seriously.
He tells the New York Post's gossip column Page Six, "She has not, nor would she be poised to, mandate any type of requirements. Nor has she directed me (to find a facility that permits) her to use any types of substances such as Adderall. She has to conform and comply with the (centre's) requirements."
Heller also dispelled speculation Lohan has already decided where she will undergo treatment, admitting the actress is considering five different clinics across the U.S.
He adds, "Lindsay is expected to sit with me this week... and then a final approval has to be rendered by the court."