BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Winona Ryder's preliminary hearing on shoplifting and drug charges was interrupted Monday when a television camera bumped her on the way into court, and her attorney reported later that she suffered a broken right arm.
Ryder arrived for the hearing late, in time for only brief testimony by a store security official before a lunch break. Further testimony was postponed when she returned to court complaining that she had injured her arm pushing through a crush of reporters and photographers on the way back from lunch.
Her attorney was at her right side as she walked through the crowd, and television footage showed a sheriff's deputy appearing to collide with a cameraman, who fell into the diminutive actress from the left. As the deputy stumbles, Ryder, who had been smiling, can be seen suddenly grimacing in pain.
Ryder was cradling her left elbow after emerging from the group of reporters at the courthouse door, however, leading prosecutors to raise questions about which arm was really hurt, said Jane Robison, a district attorney spokeswoman.
Her attorney, Mark Geragos, said later that she was "whacked" on her right elbow from behind. She was holding her left arm in order to elevate her right arm, which she had previously broken about a year ago while filming the upcoming comedy Mr. Deeds, he said.
"She's in a lot of pain," Geragos added.
When Ryder emerged from the judge's chambers her coat was off and she had a large white bandage on her right elbow. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox said that Ryder would be seen by a physician and the hearing would be delayed.
He asked Ryder if that was OK with her.
"Yes, your honor," said the actress, whose previous credits include Little Women, Girl, Interrupted, Heathers, Beetlejuice, and Reality Bites.
Fox also chided the media for aggressive attempts to photograph her. He instructed them to stay seated as she left and to remain at least 10 feet away from her as she went to her car.
The hearing was set to resume Thursday morning. Asked if his client would be able to attend, Geragos said, "There's no way I could stop her. She didn't want to leave today. I insisted."
The preliminary hearing will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to put her on trial.
Ryder allegedly shoplifted $4,800 worth of items from a Saks Fifth Avenue on Dec. 12, and had in her possession the painkiller Oxycodone without a prescription. She was charged with one count each of grand theft, burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance. She is free on $20,000 bail.
Kenneth Evans, the store's asset protection manager, testified that Ryder walked past cash registers and exited the store with merchandise.
He detailed the actress' movements through the store's three floors, laden with bags and merchandise, as he observed via security cameras.
Evans said he began watching Ryder a few minutes after 4 p.m. because of what she was carrying — a hanging garment bag, a red Saks bag, an Oilily bag and her own tote bag. In addition, she wore a cashmere coat and carried individual merchandise, he said.
Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Julie Jurek, Evans said Ryder quickly put on one of two Eric Javits hats she picked up and wore it throughout the store.
Ryder, hair drawn back and wearing a cream-colored knee-length coat over a yellow dress and matching heels, took notes during the testimony.
The prosecution entered into evidence a handbag, an Yves Saint Laurent shirt, a cashmere thermal shirt by Marc Jacobs and the Eric Javits hats.