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Judge Rules Against Woody Harrelson

June 11, 1998

BOSTON (AP) _ Woody Harrelson assaulted two photographers and unlawfully removed film from one of their cameras, a judge ruled Thursday, but he left it up to a jury to determine damages in a lawsuit against the actor.

The jury began deliberating after U.S. District Judge William Young ruled himself on part of the lawsuit. The panel met for several hours without reaching a decision; it was to reconvene Friday.

The lawsuit accuses Harrelson of violating the photographers’ civil rights and causing them pain and emotional distress.

The former ``Cheers″ star testified that he was trying to protect the privacy of his 2-year-old daughter and his wife when he scuffled at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport with Star magazine photographer Steven Connolly and free-lance video cameraman Paul Adao.

Outside the courtroom, Harrelson said he was unhappy with the judge’s ruling.

``Probably the most important thing is my daughter’s rights are not being taken into consideration,″ he said.

Harrelson’s wife, Laura Louie, testified that Connolly and Adao took pictures of the couple and their daughter, Deni, despite Harrelson’s request not to film his family.

After getting Connolly’s film, Harrelson chased after Adao.

``The taking away of the camera, that’s an assault. Mr. Harrelson has no right to do that _ no right,″ Young said. ``Even if Mr. Harrelson was acting in good faith to protect the interest of his daughter The law does not allow it.″

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