Tom Hanks did jury duty


Tom Hanks was called up for jury service.

The 57-year-old actor was called up to deliberate over a domestic violence case and he was determined to do his civic duty rather than use his celebrity status to get out of it.

He said, "I don't know how it works in the UK but here you are sitting around and then one day you get a summons in the mail to appear for duty.

"And you end up making some phone calls and you get some things explained to you and you can ask to be excused . . . but you cannot lie and you have to have very specific reasons why you need to be excused. And if you don't have them . . . then what you really need to do is show up.

"And it just so happens that other than cancelling some really important interviews for the worldwide media, I had no reason not to show up for jury duty ? so down I went."

Although he doesn't think he was necessarily a distraction during the case, the defence requested a mistrial after one of the prosecutor's team approached the star during a lunch break.

The Forrest Gump actor explained to the Mail on Sunday newspaper's Event magazine, "Somebody was eating lunch and said to me, 'Hello, thanks for coming down; most people try to get out of jury duty.’

"And I said, 'I know, but I'm just doing my civic duty.’ But nobody is supposed to talk to the jury, I believe. It was a very informal, seven-second interchange during lunch.

"But justice was either served or the entire judicial system was discovered to have a fault in it because of where I chose to eat my lunch that day. But you know, I did my duty."

The woman who spoke to him was fined $150 (R1 500) for a lesser charge of disturbing the peace after the judge accepted a plea bargain.

-Bang Showbiz

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