NAMES IN THE NEWS : Julia Roberts Clarifies Remarks

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Actress Julia Roberts, who outraged many upstate South Carolinians by saying the region was racist, now says she was referring to just one incident.

“I was born in the South, so in no way am I trying to create a stereotype,” Roberts said in a statement given to the Anderson Independent-Mail.

Roberts, who is from Smyrna, Ga., said she was referring to an incident in which a black friend who entered an Abbeville restaurant with her was refused service. She added:


“I was shocked that this type of treatment still exists in America in the ‘90s--in the South or anywhere else.”

In an interview in the Aug. 9 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Roberts said Abbeville was “horribly racist” and a “living hell.”

Roberts was in Abbeville in May filming “Sleeping With the Enemy.” She recently starred with Richard Gere in the box-office hit “Pretty Woman.” Her latest film, “Flatliners,” has its premiere today in Hollywood.

More than 100 upstate South Carolina residents last week contributed money for a $467 ad that appeared in Wednesday’s issue of Variety. The ad appeared under the heading “Pretty Woman? Pretty Low.”

“Are there racists here?” the ad said. “Perhaps some, as there are throughout the world. But they do not define us.”