FOX 11 Archives: The Slap Heard 'Round The World - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

FOX 11 Archives: The Slap Heard 'Round The World

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It was 24 years ago this week that Hungarian-born actress Zsa Zsa Gabor's run-in with a Beverly Hills policeman led to a verdict that eventually sent her to jail.  The cop had pulled her over at La Cienega and Olympic Boulevards on a routine traffic stop, but then Zsa Zsa pulled away, sparking a brief pursuit.  Later, in court, jurors were told how this moving violation led to a physical confrontation.  The six-foot-four officer testified that when the five-foot-four actress refused to get out of her car, he pulled her out, and that's when she slapped him across the face.  This led to her arrest.  Inside the car was a flask of Jack Daniels.  Also, Zsa Zsa did not have a valid drivers license.

In court, Zsa Zsa angered Judge Charles Rubin by sketching and speaking out of turn.  He found her in contempt, and on three of the four counts the jury found her guilty.  she was acquitted of disobeying the cop when she drove away after being pulled over.  Zsa Zsa got three days in jail -- which she served at the El Segundo municipal lock-up.  Also, she was ordered to serve 120 hours of community service, to which the judge later added another 60 hours because he said she failed to serve all of the original term.  You can see video of the verdict, of Zsa Zsa entering jail and later expressing her anger over the incident by clicking on the images.

I had my own encounter with Zsa Zsa; one that was quite civil.  A number of years ago I was working on a televsion special that featured numerous stars and celebrities.  The production team thought it would be a great idea to have Ms. Gabor guest host a segment of the show, and I was told to take her to lunch and see if she was interested.  It was suggested I take her to one of her favorite dining spots, The Bistro, a fancy expense account restaurant in Beverly Hills.  I was allotted $200 to spend.

Zsa Zsa and I had a cheerful telephone chat.  We agreed to have lunch on a specific date and time, and when she told me that she preferred a certain table, I told her I'd take care of all the arrangements.  Then I said that on the day of our lunch date I'd pick her up.

"Oh no, darling.  Send a car for me, please."

Right then I knew my 200 bucks wouldn't do it.  I told Zsa Zsa I'd get back to her.  As soon as we hung up I walked over to the production head's office and told him lunch with Ms. Gabor would set us back about $600 -- and that's with no guarantee she'd even do the show.

In the end, we decided to go in a different direction.  Too bad.  I might have enjoyed breaking bread with Zsa Zsa, though you can bet I'd have been on my guard.  Anyone who'd to take a swing at a big cop is either tough, wild or both.

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