Actress Daniele Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas might have been doing more than “making out” in a car in Studio City before their encounter with police last week, by the looks of photos that surfaced Wednesday.
The pictures, obtained by TMZ and taken last Thursday, show the couple on the passenger seat of what he told police was his car. The car door is open and Lucas’ legs are out the door, feet on the curb. One shot shows hands holding onto the edge of the open sunroof. Watts’ back is to the sidewalk and she appears to bit sitting on top of Lucas.
However, Lucas, a raw-foods chef who lists a number of celebrities among his clients, told the Los Angeles Times via text message that “Photos show nothing cuz we were doing nothing.”
An eyewitness who was working in the adjacent office told TMZ that Watts was straddling Lucas with her shirt pushed up to expose her breasts and was rocking back and forth on him.
Someone from the office went down and asked the couple to stop because people could see them, TMZ said, but the two allegedly continued.
The two were questioned by officers outside CBS Studios after someone called 911 to report a sexual act going on in a public place.
The situation escalated after one officer requested Watts’ identification, though nothing untoward was going on when he arrived on the scene. According to audio of the exchange, the “Django Unchained” and “Partners” actress refused to present her ID, suggested she was being questioned because she was black and her boyfriend was white, and told the officer she had a publicist.
The officer said she was interfering with the investigation and told her he had the right to request her identification. She disagreed, saying he had no such right.
The ACLU and LAPD have expressed different opinions on whether police were within their rights to ask Watts and Lucas to produce identification. Police said Sunday that they were investigating the officers’ conduct.
“In my opinion it’s not a crime to be fully clothed, showing affection on a public street in our own car,” Watts told CNN on Monday when asked if she and Lucas had been “doing something you shouldn’t have been doing.”
“If we’re fully clothed, it doesn’t matter how passionately we’re making out, it’s my right and my pleasure to enjoy myself and I don’t feel like I should feel shameful for that or feel like I should have to apologize for that.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Lucas’ Twitter feed was framing the situation in terms of 4th Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.
“All interviews have been put on hold for the PDA incident until we can meet with our civil liberties advisors this afternoon,” he said Tuesday on Facebook. “In the meantime, we CAN say that Sergeant Rudolph Valadez from the LAPD Internal Affairs office contacted us yesterday afternoon.”
In his initial Facebook post last Thursday, Lucas, who is a chef, said he and Watts had been “accosted by police officers after showing our affection publicly.” (And, yes, the parenthetical statements below are his.)
“From the questions that he asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootie shorted black girl and thought we were a HO (prostitute) & a TRICK (client).”
After detailing what went down, including how Watts was handcuffed after she wouldn’t produce ID, Lucas concluded his post by noting that officers “weren’t expecting D to be so intelligent and outspoken, and left truly feeling the fear vibration finding out that they had just ... with 2 celebrities (Celebrated People).”
Times staff writer Kate Mather contributed to this report.