With her back rigid and chin held high, Zsa Zsa Gabor took the witness stand in her cop-slapping trial Wednesday, invoking the name of Britain's Prince Philip and saying "it's sporty" to use foul language in some situations.
Gabor emerged from the Beverly Hills Municipal courtroom after two hours on the stand, telling reporters she had received a message from former President Ronald Reagan that was delivered to her attorney while she was testifying in her own defense.
"Mr. Reagan just called and left a message. I adore him," she said on the steps of the courthouse during an afternoon break in her 8-day-old misdemeanor trial. She said the message was only to call Reagan in Los Angeles.
However, Mark Weinberg, Reagan's spokesman, said "He (Reagan) absolutely did not call Miss Gabor."
Wearing the same dress she wore the day she was arrested for slapping Beverly Hills Police Officer Paul Kramer, Gabor expressed sympathy for the policeman, who was hospitalized Tuesday after he was thrown off his police motorcycle in a traffic collision with a squad car.
"I'm sorry for him. He's too good a specimen," said Gabor, who previously has described Kramer as a "liar," but "gorgeous."
Kramer was in stable condition at UCLA Medical Center with severe bruises and scrapes.
While under cross-examination by Deputy Dist. Atty. Elden Fox earlier Wednesday, Gabor admitted that she uses profanity when riding horses.
"Very seldom do I use it when I fall off a horse," she said. "It's sporty, because Prince Philip uses it when he plays polo, and I play polo."
Other witnesses have testified that Gabor swore at Kramer and slapped his face when she was stopped June 14 in her $200,000 Rolls-Royce Corniche for expired registration tags. But Gabor said she had "never heard those words in my life" before the trial.
The actress is alleged to have driven off after Kramer stopped her. He followed, stopped her again and placed her in handcuffs.
Gabor, who faces up to 18 months in jail and $3,400 in fines if convicted of the charges against her, contends that she drove away because, she says, Kramer told her to "f--- off."
During her testimony Wednesday, Gabor watched a videotape of her call to "A.M. Los Angeles," a local television talk show, the day after her arrest. On the tape she said she waited 45 minutes between the time Kramer stopped her and when she decided to drive off.
But when asked by Fox how long she had waited, or if she had looked at her watch, she said she could not remember.
Official police tapes from the day have shown the time she waited was between 10 and 12 minutes.
During her often rambling testimony, Gabor answered most questions indirectly.
One exchange went like this:
"How many times have the police pulled you over?" Fox asked.
"Very seldom," Gabor replied. "Usually they want to marry me."
In a surprise move late Tuesday afternoon, Gabor was called to the stand to begin her testimony. She was originally scheduled to be the final defense witness in the trial, which is now in its second week and is not expected to end until next week.
Gabor wore the same outfit she had on when she was arrested in order to show how the dress allegedly rode up her thighs while she was forced to sit handcuffed on a curb.