By Matthew B. Zeidman
LOS ANGELES(RUSHPRNEWS)10/03/08 – It came to light Wednesday that Heather Locklear’s arrest following alleged erratic driving wasn’t left to luck, but was instead made possible by a 911-dialing paparazzo tailing the former “Melrose Place” star, who was able to snap photos of the police action and sell them anonymously to gossip Web site TMZ for $27,500, reported Hollywood Today.
“There was no setup and there’s no moral ambiguity,” Nicholas Tepper, an attorney for former Us Weekly employee, Jill Ishkanian, said in a statement to ABC News. “If you see someone driving impaired, you call the police, and that’s what she did. The implication that somehow my client did something wrong is absurd and defamatory.”
Tepper confirmed the amount of the sale to ABC and told the Associated Press that Ishkanian was doing her “civic duty” after spotting a purportedly intoxicated Locklear at a local market. He also claimed that his client chose to use KM Press Group to broker her images because of an ongoing lawsuit against Us Weekly that has harmed her reputation.
Ishkanian is seeking $55 million in damages from the popular entertainment magazine for accusing her of stealing company data, which originally led to a federal investigation and, according to Tepper’s statement to AP, essentially blacklisted his client in Hollywood.
Locklear, 47, was arrested Saturday by the California Highway Patrol in Santa Barbara, Calif.
According to the arrest report, the responding officers determined the actress was not under the influence of alcohol, but claimed she was clearly not capable of safely operating a vehicle and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Prosecutors are awaiting the results of a toxicology report and have not yet charged Locklear with any crime.