Nick Nolte's lawyer denies drug charges
Nick Nolte’s arraignment on two misdemeanor drug charges was scheduled for Monday, but a Los Angeles superior court judge agreed to postpone the proceedings until Dec. 5 so that the defense can do its own blood test, the Associated Press reports. Outside the Malibu courthouse, the actor’s lawyer denied the prosecution’s charge that Nolte was under the influence of gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, when he was arrested on the Pacific Coast Highway last month.
The 61-year-old actor was stopped Sept. 11 near his Malibu home by police who said his Mercedes was weaving into oncoming traffic. A police spokesperson said at the time that the actor ”seemed completely out of it. He was drooling, [with] droopy eyes.” Last week, prosecutors filed formal charges of driving under the influence and being under the influence of GHB, a drug known in nightclubs for causing a euphoric high. But outside the courtroom on Monday, Nolte’s lawyer, Mark Werksman, said of his client, ”He was not under the influence of a date-rape drug. That’s ridiculous. Nick Nolte is not out there popping illicit or narcotic drugs.”
Still, three days after his arrest, Nolte checked himself into Silver Hill, the Connecticut rehab clinic where Mariah Carey and Billy Joel have received treatment in recent months. His spokesman declined at the time to specify why Nolte had checked himself into a rehab clinic, but his stay there is apparently over. While Nolte did not appear in court Monday, Werksman told AP, ”He’s doing fine. He’s back home in Malibu where he’s working and looking forward to the release of several new pictures.” In one of those pictures, ”The Good Thief,” he plays a heroin-addicted criminal.
AP also reported that Werksman, deputy district attorney Loni Petersen, and judge Lawrence Mira had a brief private discussion in court, after which the judge said he would allow Nolte to remain free until the December court date if he met several conditions. These included random drug tests, treatment in a substance-abuse program, no driving until his license suspension ends, and abstinence from alcohol and drugs.