Thompson Ordered to Stand Trial
A producer of pornographic movies testified Tuesday that she saw widespread drug use during a five-hour visit to the home of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson last winter.
Thompson, 52, charged with four felony counts of possession of illegal drugs and dynamite, appeared in Pitkin County District Court for a pretrial hearing, where he was ordered to stand trial.
The writer had originally faced an additional felony cocaine possession charge and one misdemeanor count of sexual assault, but those charges were dismissed at the daylong hearing.
The charges were filed after the producer, Gail Palmer-Slater, 35, told sheriff’s deputies she was assaulted during a visit with Thompson at his Woody Creek home outside Aspen on Feb. 21. She told deputies Thompson grabbed her left breast.
Presiding Judge Charles Buss of Grand Junction said there was enough evidence to establish probable cause for a trial, but dismissed one count charging cocaine use and one of sexual assault. He scheduled a motions hearing for June 25-26 in Pitkin County District Court.
Thompson did not testify at the hearing. At the conclusion, when the judge read the charges against him, Thompson stood and pleaded innocent to all counts.
“If this is the American legal system, we’re all in trouble, we’re all in trouble,” Thompson said as he left the courtroom.
Palmer-Slater said her purpose in meeting with Thompson was to obtain the movie rights to his novel, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
After arriving at Thompson’s house about 7 p.m., Palmer-Slater testified, she witnessed use of drugs by Thompson and several of his friends. She said she was offered some “white powdery fluffy stuff,” which she refused.
At one point, she said, Thompson walked into the kitchen, looked at the counter and said, “Oh look, coke,” and dipped his head into the substance.
Thompson, his nostrils covered with a white residue, said, “There’s coke everywhere I look in this house. That’s why I love this house,” Palmer-Slater testified.