News Article

Witch Hunt

Racist death threats target Taye Diggs. The ''Kevin Hill'' star's wife, ''Wicked'' Tony winner Idina Menzel, performs on Broadway as scheduled, under heavy security

Taye Diggs, Idina Menzel | 'WICKED' GAME Menzel and Diggs are the target of racist threats
Image credit: Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs: Diane Bondareff/AP
'WICKED' GAME Menzel and Diggs are the target of racist threats

Someone threatened to drop a house on the Wicked Witch of the West, only this time, the house was Broadway's Gershwin Theater, and the target was Idina Menzel, who won a Tony earlier this year for her starring role as the green-skinned sorceress in Wicked, a musical prequel of sorts to The Wizard of Oz. According to reports in Newsday and the New York Post, Menzel and her husband, actor Taye Diggs, were both named as targets in a series of threatening letters that cited the couple's interracial marriage. Diggs, who stars in the new UPN drama hit Kevin Hill, was threatened with bodily harm in one letter, a source close to the police probe of the missives told Newsday, while two other letters threaten to burn down the Gershwin Theater. All three letters were postmarked from different states, and police do not believe they are the work of a single individual.

According to the Post, police alerted officials in Canada, where Diggs is currently shooting a movie. At the Gershwin, Menzel performed in Sunday's matinee and evening shows as scheduled, but under heavier security, with five plainclothes guards posted at the stage door and security staffers inspecting the contents of theatergoers' bags. The couple is ''well-protected,'' said Menzel's spokeswoman, Cary Ross. ''The theater's done a great job with security.''

Diggs, who is black, met Menzel, who is white and Jewish, when they costarred in the original cast of Rent in 1995. They married in 2003.

Originally posted Dec 06, 2004