A “Django Unchained” actress and her boyfriend pleaded not guilty Tuesday through an attorney to a misdemeanor count of lewd conduct.
Daniele Watts made headlines when she was handcuffed and briefly detained along a Studio City street last September.
Watts and her boyfriend, local chef Brian James Lucas, are each charged with one misdemeanor count of lewd conduct, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Los Angeles police said officers received a report about indecent exposure in the 11900 block of Ventura Boulevard around 3 p.m. Sept. 11. A witness reported that a man and a woman were having sex inside a silver Mercedes with the door open, according to police.
Watts, who denied any wrongdoing, complained later that she was a victim of racial profiling by police, noting that she is black and her boyfriend is white. The actress also refused to provide police with any identification.
She and her boyfriend were eventually released.
The Los Angeles Police Department began an internal investigation into the actions of the responding officers, one of whom later released an audiotape of his conversation with Watts.
The release of that tape called into question Watts’ allegations of racial profiling and mistreatment by the officers.
Some local civil rights activists who had spoken out in support of Watts later backed off and called on the actress to apologize to police.
The misdemeanor charge carries a potential sentence of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
— City News Service