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Jury Selection Begins; Judge Imposes Gag Order

September 12, 1989

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor spent the day in court Monday, watching jury selection for her trial on a charge of slapping a policeman, with more than 100 reporters hanging on her every word outside court.

″Hello, dahlinks,″ she said as she breezed into court accompanied by her hairdresser, daughter and eighth husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, Germany’s Duke of Saxony.

Miss Gabor wore a black Donna Karan dress, a string of pearls, and a flashcube-sized diamond wedding ring, which she toyed with in court.

Defense attorney William Graysen estimated a five- to seven-day trial.

Municipal Judge Charles G. Rubin immediately imposed a gag order on the case, silencing the outspoken Miss Gabor.

Miss Gabor’s entourage was surrounded by more than 100 reporters and camera and sound crews when she stepped from a chauffeured car near the courthouse.

Distressed by word that only six reporters would be allowed inside the small courtroom, the international news mob swarmed hairdresser Michael Disney.

It was ″just the usual″ hairstyle for Miss Gabor, he said. ″It’s very conservative.″

Miss Gabor was arrested June 14 in Beverly Hills after she was stopped at the wheel of her $215,000 Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible for having an expired registration, and drove off as the officer was checking for other infractions. Police said she then slapped the officer when he stopped her again two blocks later.

Miss Gabor has maintained she was verbally and physically abused by an officer who she says has a history of harassing celebrities.

She pleaded innocent July 12 to charges of misdemeanor battery on a police officer, disobeying a police officer’s orders, driving with an expired license, having an open container of alcohol in her car and having an expired car registration.

If convicted, she faces a maximum jail term of two years and a $4,000 fine.

Miss Gabor yawned as Monday’s proceedings headed toward lunch recess. She was followed again by a crush of reporters and camera crews toward the courthouse elevator.

″I’ve never done it before. I think it’s exciting,″ she said.

It wasn’t Miss Gabor’s first run-in with law enforcement.

In January, authorities said, she spouted profanities when she was taken off an airliner in Atlanta because her two dogs were loose in the plane. A similar incident occurred in 1968 when she illegally took a dog with her to Spain.

The Hungarian-born actress, who is secretive about her age, is reported to be between 62 and 70. The former Miss Hungary was a teen-ager at the time of her first marriage, to Burhan Belge, the Turkish ambassador to Hungary.

In the afternoon, Miss Gabor returned to the courthouse after a lunch of black bean soup at the fashionable Polo Lounge. She chatted with fans and a few reporters, pulling out photographs of her dog from her purse and passing them around.

Despite the gag order, Miss Gabor still spoke her mind. Of the confrontation with the officer, she said ″It wasn’t bad luck. It was idiotic. Stupid.″

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