Ryder 'was shoplifting for film role' - court

Actress Winona Ryder gave the names of two different movies after claiming she was shoplifting to train for a film role, a court has been told.

Actress Winona Ryder gave the names of two different movies after claiming she was shoplifting to train for a film role, a court has been told.

Prosecution witness Colleen Rainey told Beverly Hills Superior Court that when Ryder was allegedly caught shoplifting she said she was practising for a role in a movie called Shopgirl.

Ryder later said the movie she was involved with was called White Jazz, Ms Rainey claimed.

Giving evidence yesterday - the third day of 31-year-old Ryder’s shoplifting trial - Ms Rainey told jurors how she and her colleagues detained Ryder after she allegedly left Saks Fifth Avenue department store without paying for 20 items.

Full details of the haul of designer merchandise allegedly stolen by the actress were also revealed to the court for the first time yesterday.

Ms Rainey - who was due to continue giving evidence when the case resumes today - claimed she peered through the slats of a store changing room as Ryder snipped security tags off designer handbags, accidentally cutting her finger in the process.

She said she also saw the star wrapping socks and hair accessories in tissue paper before stuffing them into her shopping bag.

The witness, who worked as a loss prevention investigator at Saks, later followed Ryder as she left the store, apprehended her and brought her back inside.

She told the court that after Ryder was brought back inside she told a security officer: “I was told that I should shoplift, I’m doing a role where I am required to shoplift.

“My director said I should try it out. I probably should have notified the store and said I was going to come and shoplift. I’m sorry.”

Ryder said the movie involved was called Shopgirl, Ms Rainey claimed.

A romantic comedy called Shopgirl is set to be made next year starring actress Claire Danes and comic actor Steve Martin.

Directed by Anand Tucker, the film is based on Martin’s best-selling novel of the same name and centres on a disenchanted salesgirl and aspiring artist who sells gloves and accessories at a posh store.

According to Ms Rainey’s court testimony, Ryder later said she shoplifted for a role in a film called White Jazz.

White Jazz is the name of a novel by James Ellroy who has reportedly written his own adaptation of the book for Miramax films. A film based on the book has not yet been made.

Ms Rainey said: “At another point during her detainment she had informed us again that she had done it for a role but this time it was a movie called White Jazz.

“She said it was a crime drama and she said she was playing a role where she had to shoplift.”

Ryder denies stealing nearly $6,000 (€6,080) worth of designer merchandise from the store during an alleged shoplifting expedition just before Christmas last year.

Her alleged haul included a Dolce and Gabbana handbag, a Natori handbag, Calvin Klein socks, a Yves Saint Laurent blouse and several designer hair accessories.

Ryder is accused of vandalism, grand theft and burglary and denies all three felony charges against her.

The trial before Judge Elden Fox continues today.

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