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Actor Is Sentenced in Fleiss Harassment Case

Tom Sizemore, ex-boyfriend of the former Hollywood madam, will enter a drug program before judge decides jail time.

October 28, 2003|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

Actor Tom Sizemore was sentenced to six months in jail Monday for harassing and threatening his ex-girlfriend, former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Antonio Barreto Jr. suspended the sentence until Jan. 30, when he will assess Sizemore's progress in a residential drug rehabilitation program and decide how long the actor should be jailed.

A star of "Black Hawk Down" and "Saving Private Ryan," Sizemore was convicted in August of seven misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, making a terrorist threat and making annoying telephone calls to Fleiss. He faced up to four years in prison.

Instead, the judge ordered Sizemore to serve three years' probation, including three to six months in jail. He must complete a 45-day live-in drug program, receive one year of domestic-violence counseling and attend an anger-management course. He must stay away from Fleiss and cannot use illegal drugs or alcohol or carry a weapon.

Sizemore, 41, also pleaded no contest Monday to battery on another woman and was sentenced to three years' probation.

In a letter to the judge, Sizemore apologized to the court and Fleiss. Sizemore's family and his friend actor Charlie Sheen were in the courtroom.

"In recent months I have permitted my personal demons to take over my life. I do not want to make excuses, but I am convinced that if I had not been under the influence of drugs, I would have controlled my behavior," he wrote. "I believe that I can beat this scourge that has afflicted me and become a better man and a better citizen."

He concluded by saying, "I remind you of the Bard's praise of justice tempered with mercy. Mercy benefits those who receive it and those who give it."

According to court records, Fleiss, who was arrested on pimping, pandering and narcotics charges in 1993 and later served 21 months in prison after being convicted on federal charges of conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering, told a probation officer that she "really just wanted to move on. This thing with Tom was one of the most depressing, humiliating and disruptive experiences of my life."

Deputy Los Angeles City Atty. Robert Cha had asked the judge to put Sizemore behind bars for a year. But the Probation Department recommended three months in custody and suggested the actor be incarcerated somewhere other than county jail.

"Ninety days in local custody will hopefully impress upon the defendant the absolute necessity that he refrain from further illegal acts," the probation report reads.

If Sizemore doesn't successfully fulfill the terms of his probation, Cha said he would seek up to a five-year sentence.

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