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NBC Actor Accused of Assault

November 2, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Wallace Langham, who plays a character everyone thinks is gay on the NBC sitcom ``Veronica’s Closet,″ has been accused of assaulting a man while shouting gay slurs.

Langham, 34, was charged Monday with misdemeanor battery and committing a hate crime stemming from the Sept. 7 incident at a Hollywood supermarket.

However, a publicist for Langham said the actor, who plays the character Josh on ``Veronica’s Closet,″ did not shout homosexual slurs and is a supporter of gay rights. She blamed the altercation on an extortion attempt.

``Mr. Langham intends to request that extortion charges be filed against the purported victim,″ said Hayley Sumner. ``It is despicable for an individual to provoke a fight and then characterize it as a hate crime in order to leverage the incident for his personal financial gain.″

The alleged victim, a 35-year-old man, received hospital treatment for bruises and an injured jaw, Deputy City Attorney Michael Pizzuti said.

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