News Article

Meth'd Actor

Judge to Tom Sizemore: Kick drugs or die. Court declines to jail actor pending his sentencing next month for violating probation by failing drug tests

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge declined to send Tom Sizemore to jail pending his sentencing next month for drug possession and probation violation, but he did hand down an ultimatum to the Saving Private Ryan actor, the Associated Press reports. ''There are two ways for you to go,'' Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. told Sizemore at a hearing on Thursday. ''One is to recover. The other is to die.''

The Black Hawk Down star remains free on bail pending sentencing on March 24 for possession of methamphetamine and violating his probation sentence, which was handed down in 2003 when he was convicted of domestic violence charges stemming from his abusive relationship with his ex-fiancée, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. He faces a possible four-and-a-half years behind bars.

At Thursday's hearing, prosecutor Sean Carney said that Sizemore had failed seven court-ordered drug tests this month alone, even while living at a drug-treatment center. During one of this month's urine tests, Reuters reports, Sizemore was caught trying to cheat by using a prosthetic penis sewn into his boxers and filled with a clean sample.

Judge Barreto agreed that Sizemore was ''out of control and cannot stop. Meth has consumed any will he may have had to stop.'' Still, he declined the prosecution's request to jail the 43-year-old until the sentencing, letting him off with the warning instead. After the hearing, Sizemore acknowledged his drug use but sounded a defiant note. ''I slipped a couple of times, I did,'' he told AP. ''I am progressing. I am doing much better.'' Of his possible prison time, he said, ''I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to make movies. I should never have been in this mess in the first place.''

Originally posted Feb 25, 2005