EW YORK — A US judge said Thursday he will rule in September on an attempt by a Canadian actress to have stalking charges lodged by Hollywood star Alec Baldwin thrown out of court.
Lawyers for Genevieve Sabourin, whom Baldwin accuses of sending love-struck emails and coming uninvited to his Manhattan apartment, asked the New York criminal court to toss the case “on constitutional grounds,” among others.
Judge Mark White set a September 19 hearing for his ruling on the defense motion.
The blonde Sabourin, wearing a figure-hugging white dress and high heel sandals, agreed to the judge’s instruction that in the meantime she abstain from all attempts to contact Baldwin, whether by “text, telephone or in person.”
“You’d expose yourself to jail time, understand?” White warned.
Sabourin, 40, was arrested on April 8 following a complaint by Baldwin, who said she was harassing him with emails, asking him to marry her, and turning up at his apartment in the chichi Greenwich Village neighborhood.
She had met the 54-year-old Baldwin, a major presence on US television screens through the successful “30 Rock” series, in 2002 on the set of the Eddie Murphy film “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”
But Sabourin’s attorney, Maurice Sercarz, says the stalking claims are based on a misunderstanding and he hinted Thursday that the evidence now in prosecutors’ hands demonstrates that contact between the actress and the star was mutual.
There are “a substantial number” of text messages and emails “back and forth,” he told reporters, emphasizing the latter.
The attorney said he hoped prosecutors would simply drop charges now that they were able to get what he called a fuller picture of the affair.
Sabourin, a little known actress, says her career has hit a wall since the scandal broke.
“I’ve been extremely vilified in the press all over the world,” she told reporters outside the courtroom, apparently stifling tears. “Who’s going to hire anyone who’s in court with a big star, a Hollywood star? No one’s going to take that chance.”
Sabourin turned heads in a cavernous courtroom populated mostly by poor New Yorkers in on more gritty cases, including assault and drug-related charges.
Press photographers permitted by the judge to enter the courtroom for Sabourin’s brief hearing snapped a flurry of pictures. The actress, who was working as a publicist when she met Baldwin, posed confidently in her sleeveless dress.
Since being accused, “I haven’t had a single audition,” she said afterwards. “I wish I could go on with my life on every level.”
Baldwin was not present at the hearing. The A-list actor has seen a surge in popularity thanks to “30 Rock.”
However, he is not immune to scandals of his own, including in December, when he was booted off an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off a cell phone.