Hollywood Scandals (part 2)



Seeing Stars in Hollywood


A list L.A. locations that made the headlines.
The sites of famous celebrity scandals, crimes, accidents, hijinks...
and occasional celebrity heroics.

    16358 Ventura Blvd., Encino: outside Delmonico's restaurant, where pop singer Paula Abdul was the victim of a car theft in broad daylight. Paula had arrived for lunch here at 1:30 PM on July 18, 1995, and had briefly left her white 300SL Mercedes-Benz running unattended in front of the restaurant while she went to get a valet parking ticket. Two men jumped into her car and sped away. Police say Paula was "extremely upset."

    The Santa Monica Pier, at the west end of Colorado Avenue: Only in L.A.: in the summer of 1995, a despondent man attempted suicide by handcuffing himself and jumping off the end of the Santa Monica Pier, shortly after midnight. He was promptly rescued by three celebrity lifesavers: the "Hollywood Madam" (Heidi Fleiss), Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon (Dr. Steven Hoefflin) and KNBC News' medical reporter, Bruce Hensel. The trio had been dining at the a posh restaurant nearby (Ivy At the Shore), and decided to take a stroll on the pier. (Ironically, Dr. Hoefflin later made the news again in late 1997, when another surgeon accused him of fondling and exposing his celebrity patients while they were sedated. He strongly denied the charges - and countersued. An investigation by the Medical Board of California cleared him of the charges.)   

    7800 Beverly Boulevard, Hollywood: CBS TV City, where "Price Is Right" model Dian Parkinson alleged that game show host Bob Barker had coerced her into having sex with him, in a 1994 lawsuit she filed against him, charging sexual harassment. Barker denied the charges, claiming that she had actually seduced him, and he threatened to sue her for malicious prosecution. The case was dropped by Parkinson.

    12050 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City: in March of 1994, actor Burt Reynolds was exiting this Super Crown bookstore in the Valley (near CBS Studio Center, where he filmed his series "Evening Shade"), carrying a box of books, when he was accosted by two muggers. The attackers knocked Burt down, but Reynolds (who was wearing a cast on his arm at the time) got up and decked one of them. The two would-be robbers fled empty-handed.

    5505 Ocean Front Walk, Venice: in March of 1994, on the night of the Academy Awards, police arrested actor Dudley Moore ("Arthur") on domestic violence charges here at his former beach home, after his girlfriend of three years (Nicole Rothchild) accused him of battering her. Dudley was released on $50,000 bail, and Ms. Rothchild soon changed her story, saying that he had never hit her after all. On April 16, 1994, the two were married at this same seaside home in Venice. (By 1997, they had filing for divorce.) Of course, the world later learned that he was suffering from an incurable brain disease, which ended his life seven years later, in March 2002.

    2114 Beech Knoll Road, Los Angeles: the home of actor Billy Dee Williams (star of "Return Of The Jedi" and "Lady Sings The Blues") in the Hollywood hills. On January 30, 1996, he was arrested there for allegedly roughing up his live-in girlfriend during an argument.

    The intersection of 3rd Street & Lucas Street, downtown L.A.: where James Garner accidentally ran down a pedestrian during the filming of a 1995 "Rockford Files" TV-movie. Led by a police escort, Garner was driving a Pontiac Firebird west on 3rd Street (with a movie camera mounted on the car's hood) just as a pedestrian named Juan Vasquez - heading south on Lucas - stepped into the crosswalk. Off-duty police were supposed to have been in control of the intersection, but no one alerted Vasquez or Garner to the danger. Fortunately, the accident wasn't deadly. Vasquez ended up with a broken leg, but he was released from the hospital on the same day as the accident. *

    14527 Mulholland Drive, above Sherman Oaks: the home of actor Harry Dean Stanton ("Alien" & "Repo Man"), where, on Jan. 20, 1996, he was the victim of a home invasion robbery. Stanton was held prisoner by three armed men, beaten, tied up and his car was stolen. Fortunately, his car was equipped with an electronic tracking device, and police quickly located it (near Alcove Avenue and Tiara Street, in North Hollywood) and arrested the suspects.

    665 W. Jefferson, Los Angeles: the Shrine Auditorium. It was here that Michael Jackson was filming a Pepsi commercial when his hair caught on fire. He was hospitalized, and reconstructive surgery on his scalp later led to his addiction to a prescription pain killer, forcing him to cancel his 1993 world tour and check into a drug treatment center in Europe.  

    8440 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood: the Le Mondrian hotel, where one of the supposed lead singers for the pop duo "Milli Vanilli." tried to kill himself in 1991. Milli Vanilli had won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1989, but they were stripped of that award after it was discovered that the two singers hadn't sung at all on their debut item; in fact, they had only lip-synced the songs. One of the duo, Rob Pilatus (from Germany), took an overdose of pills, slashed his wrists, and tried to jump out of the ninth-floor window of this hotel, before the police finally stopped him.

    North Van Ness Street, Hollywood: five years later, on Feb. 4, 1995, the same Rob Pilatus (of Milli Vanilli) was arrested on charges of attempted burglary and making terrorist threats, after he tried to steal a car and then tried to break into a man's home. His attempt failed when the victim hit Pilatus over the head with a baseball bat. (On April 3, 1998, Pilatus was found dead of an apparent overdose in a Frankfurt hotel room.) 

    6432 Mulholland Highway (at Canyon Lake Drive): Madonna's former home, the "Castillo del Lago," where (on May 29, 1995) a deranged stalker scaled the wall of the estate and was shot three times in a struggle with an armed guard employed by Madonna. The stalker was later convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Earlier, another stalker had been arrested at the same Madonna estate and sentenced to a year in jail. Both men claimed to be Madonna's husband. Back in the 1930's, this terra cotta & yellow-striped house in the Hollywood Hills (just below the Hollywood sign), was an infamous gambling casino run by mobster Bugsy Siegel.  

    17267 Parthenia Street (west of Hayvenhurst), Northridge: where comedian Richard Pryor accidentally set himself on fire while free-basing cocaine, then ran through the streets looking for help. "One thing I learned," said Pryor, "was that you can run really fast when you're on fire!."  

    12850 Mulholland Drive, in the Hollywood Hills: actor Jack Nicholson's house, where director Roman Polanski ("Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby") allegedly bedded a 13-year-old girl, resulting in Polanski's 1977 trial, conviction, and subsequent self-exile in Europe. (Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate, and their unborn child had been murdered by the Manson gang in 1969.)   [map approximate]

    Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, L.A. (now LACMA West, across the street from the Petersen Automotive Museum): the former May Co. department store where actress Hedy Lamarr ("Samson & Delilah") was arrested for shoplifting in 1966. A jury found her not guilty, and she sued the department store for $5 million.

    426 N. Bristol Avenue, Brentwood (near O.J. Simpson's house): the home where actress Joan Crawford and her daughter, Christina, lived. Christina alleged in her best-seller, "Mommie Dearest," that her mother physically and emotionally abused her.  

    3100 Torreyson Place, Hollywood Hills: site of the former home of actor Errol Flynn ("Adventures of Robin Hood," "Captain Blood"), just off Mulholland Drive. Errol's entire life was one big scandal, many would say. The most public of these escapades occurred in 1943, when he was brought to trial and accused of illegally having sex with a teenager on his yacht. (He was acquitted.) His drinking buddies once stole the dead body of his friend, actor John Barrymore, and propped it up in a chair at Flynn's home to surprise him. This house was the scene of wild parties - and Flynn allegedly had two-way mirrors installed above the upstairs bedroom so he could watch... Alas, the infamous Flynn home was torn down several years ago.  

    * locations marked by an asterisk could be located in a high-crime district. Exercise reasonable caution.

    .Click here to go to the Hollywood Scandals, Part I
    [includes locations associated with news stories about Hugh Grant, George Michael, Frank Sinatra, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Slater, Quentin Tarantino, Tommy Lee, Pamela Anderson Lee, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gary Coleman, Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson, & Mark Harmon.]


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