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June 04, 1987| Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Geraldo Rivera had disparaging words Tuesday for attorneys representing three south Florida men arrested after allegedly selling him drugs on his controversial live "American Vice" show. Before giving testimony in the drug trial, Rivera said attorneys are using him to deflect blame from their clients. Defense lawyers said Rivera and his film crew interfered with the investigation of the case, destroying evidence, smudging fingerprints and even rushing the arrests because a hidden camera's battery was running down. "These are smokescreens," Rivera said, before testifying. "What is the reality? Is the reality the dope charge or is the reality the television show?" Rivera asked. "American Vice: the Doping of a Nation," which aired last December, was rapped by some critics for its casual attitude toward the constitutional rights of suspects.

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