Actress is arrested on drug charges

Actress MacKenzie Phillips was arrested on suspicion of possession of cocaine and heroin by Los Angeles Airport Police officers Wednesday morning after the narcotics were discovered during a screening by federal security staff, authorities said.

“During a secondary screening process, she was found in possession of what appeared to be a small amount of heroin and cocaine,” said Los Angeles Airport Police Sgt. Jim Holcomb. “She was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and transported to the airport station.”

Phillips, 48, was arrested about 10 a.m. during a baggage screening by Transportation Security Administration officials in Terminal 4, Holcomb said.

Authorities did not immediately say where Phillips was planning to travel or whether she was alone at the time.


The alleged narcotics were in balloons and Baggies typically used for heroin and cocaine, officials said.

Phillips was formally booked at the LAPD’s Van Nuys jail shortly before 1 p.m. Her bail was set at $10,000.

Phillips, who has spoken publicly about her struggles with drugs, first gained attention for her role in the movie “American Graffiti,” which was released in 1973. She went on to star in the television comedy series “One Day at a Time,” but had well-publicized problems with substance abuse during the show’s run and left the production at least twice.

In a return to TV in the 1990s, she played a high school drug counselor on the Fox show “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Phillips is the daughter of the late John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas and the half sister of singer Chynna Phillips and actress Bijou Phillips.


-- Richard Winton