James Bond director arrested for prostitution

Ross von Metzke | February 07, 2006

Lee Tamahori
WEST HOLLYWOOD — One of Hollywood’s most sought after directors will be arraigned later this month on charges of offering to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer for money.

Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori was arrested January 8 on Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles while dressed in women’s clothing: he was wearing a black wig and an off-the-shoulder dress.

LAPD arrested the New Zealand-born director as part of a sting operation. Santa Monica Blvd. is known to be a hotspot for prostitutes and is the same part of the city where Eddie Murphy was arrested for soliciting a transgender prostitute a few years back.

Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney, says Tamahori was cruising Santa Monica Boulevard when he was caught. He says Tamahori was picked up when he tried to offer sexual services to a cop for money.

The 55-year-old filmmaker was subsequently charged with two misdemeanors: unlawfully soliciting to engage in an act of prostitution and loitering with the intent to commit prostitution. He was released after posting a $2,000 bond. Tamahori was originally scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Thursday, but the hearing was postponed until Feb. 24.

If convicted, Tamahori could face a maximum six months in jail and a $1,000 fine; however, Mateljan said that first-time offenders are often given the option of doing community service to avoid jail time.

The director is represented by A-list attorney Mark Geragos, who has represented Michael Jackson and Winona Ryder in the past.

Hollywood first took notice of Tamahori with the critically-acclaimed 1994 drama Once Were Warriors. His other key credits include Mulholland Falls, The Edge and Along Came a Spider. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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