Arrest Warrant Issued for Actor Sean Penn

Times Staff Writer

An arrest warrant was issued Monday for actor Sean Penn after he reportedly was seen in New York and California in apparent violation of a sentencing agreement with the city attorney.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Juelann Cathey, who delayed Penn’s 60-day sentence so the actor could complete a film in West Germany, is holding the warrant until Friday to give Penn time to surrender, court officials said.

Deputy City Atty. Alice Hand, who met with the commissioner in private Monday, said she presented the court with information that Penn and his wife, rock star Madonna, had been photographed in New York on July 12. Penn had told the court that he was going to fly to Berlin on July 11 to work on a movie, Hand said.

There have also been reports that the actor was seen in a trendy Beverly Hills restaurant last week and at his wife’s concert Saturday night at Anaheim Stadium, Hand said.


“This is the last straw. I’m outraged that he is wandering around the country having a good time when he is supposed to be working,” she said.

If the court finds that Penn has violated his agreement, he could be ordered to immediately begin his jail term, the city prosecutor said.

Penn’s attorney, Howard L. Weitzman, is out of town, a spokeswoman for his Los Angeles law firm said. “We will have no comment. We have not received notice that a warrant has been issued,” the spokeswoman said.

But movie production company executives for whom Penn is working said Monday that the actor has been in West Germany since the middle of last week.


Penn, the 26-year-old star of “Bad Boys,” “The Falcon and the Snowman” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” was sentenced in June to 60 days in jail for punching a movie extra on the set of the police drama “Colors.” At the time of the incident he was on probation for punching a songwriter at a Silver Lake nightclub last year because he thought the man had kissed his wife.

Penn won approval from the court to pay $80 a day for lodging in a private jail facility at a secret location because it was thought his fame would cause security problems. With time off for good behavior, he was expected to serve only 32 days of the sentence.

Under the agreement with prosecutors, his jail term was delayed until Aug. 1 and was to be split into two segments so that he could fulfill film commitments in West Germany and later New York.

Penn was to be incarcerated from Aug. 1 to Aug. 6, and from Aug. 22 to Sept. 18.

“Penn was definitely in New York on July 12,” said Larry Cusumano, photo assignment editor of the New York Post, which ran a photo of the actor last week. Cusumano said a free-lance photographer followed Penn and Madonna around town that day and took pictures of them jogging, walking hand in hand in Central Park and standing in front of a movie theater on 5th Avenue.

Jeff Auerbach, vice president of Sheen/Greenblatt Productions, which is filming “Judgment in Berlin,” a movie about an East German couple who hijacked an airliner to West Berlin, said Monday that “Penn is in Berlin right now and arrived there the middle of last week.” Penn plays an important witness in the couple’s trial.

Hand said she had “heard rumors” that Penn had been seen last week at Ed Debevic’s Short Orders Deluxe, a trendy Beverly Hills restaurant. But she has not been able to verify the information, she said, and the restaurant’s manager said Monday that the actor had not been at the restaurant in recent weeks.