Film financier Ryan Kavanaugh's company, Relativity Media, backed Columbia Pictures’ “Catch and Release.” Today's NYT uses that connection to lead into a story about Kavanaugh's lawyer trying to use connections to Sheriff Lee Baca to win leniency for his client in a drunk driving case out of Malibu.
Nineteen months ago, Mr. Kavanaugh was arrested by a sheriff’s department officer who accused him of driving under the influence of alcohol and being involved in a hit-and-run accident. Mr. Kavanaugh is charged with driving a car that sideswiped a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser parked in Malibu...
Mr. Kavanaugh had been expected to reach a plea agreement at a hearing on Friday. However, Mr. Artz asked Judge Lawrence J. Mira for a delay to proceeding what he called important new evidence, contained on a disc that he held aloft for all to see. The contents, he said, were video reflections on Mr. Kavanaugh’s charitable works from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, the arresting officer’s boss, and a supporting appearance by former President Jimmy Carter.
“Seriously,” said Mr. Artz, as the courtroom broke out in giggles, presumably over the judge’s double-take at receiving the unexpected offer of character evidence, presidential and otherwise, in a misdemeanor case.
In his latest philanthropic gesture, the financier just a week before the hearing was the guest of honor at a Hollywood-backed fund-raiser for one of Sheriff Baca’s favorite charities, the Sheriff’s Youth Fund.