"Jury... how do you find the plaintiff?"
"Your options are 'guilty' or 'not guilty'..."
"Please answer as asked or I will find you in con—"
...Or at least that's how I'm reading this story as Brad Pitt was recently excused from Jury duty because he would be too distracting from the legal process.
Story via DailyMail
Who wouldn’t want to spend hours in a room with Brad Pitt? Apparently, not members of the Los Angeles Criminal Court.
MailOnline can report exclusively that Pitt, who turns 51 today, showed up at the court house in downtown LA last Friday to be interviewed for jury duty along with dozens of other potential jurors. But after waiting hours for his turn in the jury box, the court let him know his services wouldn’t be needed - he’d be too much of a distraction.
Although it would also have been difficult for Brad to make time in his busy schedule to serve on a jury, he actually thought it would be interesting, a Pitt insider tells MailOnline.
‘Brad was hoping he might get picked to serve on a short case,’ says the source. ‘But the problem was, he would actually be required to serve for as long as it took for the case to be decided.
Most cases in Los Angeles are decided within a seven-day period, but if the case goes longer, the juror would be have to remain on the jury for as long as it takes.
According to LA attorney William R. Lively, potential jurors are randomly selected from a community using driver’s licenses, State ID’s and voter registration lists. In most cases, the fact a person is a celebrity isn’t noticed until that person actually shows up at court.
‘Like any other potential juror, Brad would have received a jury summons that required him to travel downtown and be interviewed by the judge or attorneys in what is called voir dire,” Lively tells MailOnline exclusively. ‘This is a system of examination whereby both the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to object to a particular juror.
‘In most cases as soon as it’s discovered that a potential juror is a major celebrity, that person is dismissed, but that is not always the case.’
Pitt was called for jury duty in 2003. It is not known if he actually served on a jury but he was not sent home. He wore a juror badge, had a Subway sandwich for lunch with the other prospective jurors.
In September, 2013, actor Tom Hanks was chosen to sit for a domestic violence court case in LA. But his jury duty ended abruptly amid allegations of jury tampering, when a female member of the LA City Attorney’s Office allegedly approached Hanks in the hall during a lunch break, telling him how impressed everyone in the prosecutor’s office was that such a big celebrity would be serving jury duty.
‘Lawyers for the defense immediately asked the judge for a hearing to prove prosecutorial misconduct,’ says Lively, ‘insinuating the prosecutors were ‘star struck,’ by Hank’s presence.
‘The accused, who had been facing up to a year in jail if convicted, ended up making a plea deal to a lesser charge of disturbing the peace – a minor infraction – paid a fine of just $150, and the case was dismissed.’
Lively says it’s almost impossible for a celebrity – especially one of Brad Pitt’s caliber - to go unnoticed during a trial. And because every person accused of a crime has the right to have all eyes and ears on him or her as they plead their case, Brad would be a huge distraction.
“You just can’t stick Brad Pitt in a jury box and expect 11 jurors to ignore him,’ adds Lively, who heads up his own criminal and civil law practice in Santa Clarita, California. ‘It’s only natural that those jurors would be watching to see how Brad reacts to what’s being said and that they could be influenced by his opinions once the jury goes behind closed doors to render a verdict.’
‘Now that Angelina is out of commission with the chicken pox, Brad has been picking up the slack both at home and work,’ says the insider. ‘So it would have been hard for him to comply had he been chosen.'
He attended the premiere Angelina's new film Unbroken on Monday to show the couple supports the film, and are not afraid of reporters questions about the recent Sony hacking scandal!’
Last week a nasty email came to light between famed Hollywood director Scott Rudin and Sony Co-Chairwoman, Amy Pascal, referring to Jolie as, among other things, ‘a minimally talented spoiled brat.’ Some speculated Jolie was faking her chicken pox breakout in order to avoid being asked publically about the embarrassing Sony hacking leak.
‘I can tell you straight out, Angie is really down and out with a case of chicken pox,’ says the source. ‘But she is so proud of her work directing and producing Unbroken, that she wanted to make sure Brad, her children and her in-laws were there to represent her at the premiere.’