News Article

Bitter Pills

Winona had a full pharmacy in her purse, D.A. says. The Los Angeles D.A.'s office urges mandatory drug counseling, claiming that Ryder had eight different painkillers when she was arrested

Winona Ryder | QUEASY RYDER Prosecutor makes sentencing recommendations
Image credit: Winona Ryder: Fred Prowser/Pool Picture/Splash News/Newscom
QUEASY RYDER Prosecutor makes sentencing recommendations

The Los Angeles district attorney's office dropped its drug charge against Winona Ryder before her recent shoplifting trial, but now the office claims that she had eight kinds of painkillers in her purse when she was arrested last December. The revelation comes in the sentencing recommendation filed Monday by prosecutor Ann Rundle, in anticipation of Ryder's sentencing this Friday on her grand theft and vandalism convictions. In addition to fines, probation, and community service, Rundle urges that Ryder undergo mandatory drug counseling and be barred from using aliases under which she might receive additional prescriptions.

According to Rundle's memo, available online at The Smoking Gun, at the time of Ryder's arrest, she was carrying ''liquid Demerol, liquid Diazepam, Vicoprofen, Vicoden, Percodan, Valium, Morphine Sulfate, and Endocet (containing Oxycodone).'' Rundle writes that police were able to confirm prescriptions from several doctors for all but the last drug, some issued to Ryder under the alias Emily Thompson. A charge of possession for the Oxycodone was dropped just before trial when a doctor came forward to affirm that he had provided Ryder with the generic form of the drug (Endocet) without a prescription.

Rundle's sentencing recommendation includes no jail time, three years of probation, fines of about $26,000 (including more than $6,000 in restitution to Saks Fifth Avenue for the stolen or damaged goods), 480 hours of community service, and drug and psychiatric counseling. In addition, Rundle asks that Ryder use only her given name (Winona Horowitz) or her stage name and be barred from using Emily Thompson or other aliases in order to obtain prescriptions. Plus, she asks that Ryder be ordered to submit to random searches of her person or property.

Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he had not seen the memo and declined to comment on it. Talking to the New York Daily News, Ryder's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said of the memo, ''It sounds consistent with what the D.A. has been recommending. Other than that, we're not going to have any comment until the judge speaks.''

Originally posted Dec 04, 2002
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