SAN DIEGO – An actor who appeared in the hit comedy "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" pleaded not guilty Wednesday to attempted murder in the stabbing of his girlfriend.
Shelley Malil, 43, who appeared in San Diego County Superior Court, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the charge, which includes special circumstances of premeditation, causing great bodily injury and using a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $10 million.
Malil, who first gained fame in Budweiser's 2001 Super Bowl commercial, played a co-worker, Haziz, of comedian Steve Carell's title character in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." He was arrested Monday, a day after authorities found Kendra Beebe, 35, after receiving reports of screams at her home. She allegedly had been stabbed more than 20 times and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Beebe was reportedly arrested in 2006 for allegedly cutting her then-husband with a kitchen knife. According to the declaration of her former husband Chetwyn Archer, Kendra Beebe and Archer, who were then married and have two children, got into a serious argument at their home on Oct. 20, 2006, TMZ.com reported.
During the argument, "Kendra got a kitchen knife and cut me on my arm," Archer reportedly said. Beebe says she walked out of the house and Archer cut himself.
Beebe was arrested, but no charges were filed. Archer reportedly obtained a domestic violence restraining order three days later. According to his declaration, Beebe had enrolled voluntarily in an anger management course prior to the incident. She also attended an anger management course after the arrest.
According to Beebe's Facebook page, she is a mother of two who works as an insurance broker in Carlsbad, Calif., a coastal suburb.
She was listed in critical condition Monday, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department. Spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said Tuesday she had no update on Beebe's condition.
Eve Salony, who lives across the street from Beebe, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Beebe was having dinner with a date in her back yard on Sunday when Malil showed up and "got into the initial scuffle" with Beebe's date. Salony said the date "got scared and he ran over here. He was bleeding."
Chuck Lee, 32, who lives next door to Beebe, told the Union-Tribune that he was watching TV when he heard Beebe screaming and went to help.
Lee said he saw a man with a knife on Beebe's front patio, restraining the woman.
"I kept telling him, 'You don't want to do this,"' Lee said. He said the man kept saying, "Look at what she did to me."
A woman who answered the phone at Beebe's office declined to comment to The Associated Press.
Malil's agent, Mark Measure, declined to comment.
Malil, who lives in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, had taken the train to Oceanside on Monday night to meet his attorney, who had joined the actor's family members and friends in persuading him to turn himself in, deputies said.
Deputies found the victim on Sunday night while responding to reports of screams for help and breaking glass in San Marcos, about 15 miles east of Oceanside.
Attempts to identify and reach Malil's attorney for comment were unsuccessful.
The Associated Press called Malil's partnership with Gerry Bednob in the movie one of the "Top 10 Overlooked Performances of 2005."
He has also appeared in dozens of TV shows, including "NYPD Blue" and "Scrubs."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.