News Article

Fleiss Swatter?

Heidi Fleiss testifies that Tom Sizemore beat her. The ex-madam says the ''Black Hawk Down'' actor, her former fiance, attacked her several times

Heidi Fleiss | TAKING A STAND Fleiss testifies against Sizemore
Image credit: Heidi Fleiss: Splash News/NewsCom
TAKING A STAND Fleiss testifies against Sizemore

Onetime Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss sobbed on the witness stand as she testified Tuesday that her former fiance, ''Saving Private Ryan'' actor Tom Sizemore, beat her numerous times, according to wire service reports. She was the first witness in the actor's trial in Los Angeles, in which he's charged with 16 counts of domestic violence, threats, witness intimidation, property destruction, and making more than 100 obscene and harassing phone calls. He faces up to 13 years in prison if he's convicted on all counts.

Sizemore, 41, is best known for playing gung-ho military men in movies like ''Ryan'' and ''Black Hawk Down,'' the film whose 2001 release marked the beginning of the end of his relationship with Fleiss, she said. During the couple's appearance on Howard Stern's radio show, Fleiss said she found the movie too violent. (''I like things like 'Bambi,''' she said, according to the Associated Press.) Back at their hotel room, she said, Sizemore beat her so hard that they couldn't go to the premiere. She said she was afraid to call the police because she is a paroled felon, ''and he was the all-American guy and could send me back to prison.''

Sizemore also beat her, she said, in May 2002, after she confronted him about reports that he'd been cheating on her with prostitutes during the shooting of ''Dreamcatcher'' in Canada. ''He hit me in the bedroom and dragged me across the room by my hair. He hit me with his hands,'' she said. ''I had a black eye.''

The next day, she said, he hit her again, and ''Dreamcatcher'' costar Thomas Jane had to intervene, Reuters reports. She said she fled in Jane's car, with her head bleeding.

Sizemore has pleaded not guilty on all counts. Acccording to Reuters, his attorney, Michael Fitzgerald, reminded the jury of Fleiss' criminal past and said, ''Heidi Fleiss is a liar.'' AP quotes him as saying, ''There are no crimes here, just tragedies.''

Sizemore was arrested in May, accused of threatening Fleiss if she testified against him in another pending domestic violence case, centering on an unidentified woman who claims the actor punched her. He has denied those charges as well.

Originally posted Aug 06, 2003