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Actor Sizemore seeks probation deal

Wants to remain in psychiatric hospital for treatment
/ Source: Reuters

Lawyers for troubled actor Tom Sizemore asked a judge Friday to let him remain in a psychiatric hospital for treatment of depression and drug abuse if he admits to breaching his probation on a drug conviction.

If he is found to have violated the terms of his probation, Sizemore, 43, who played combat-hardened soldiers in war films ”Saving Private Ryan” and “Black Hawk Down,” could face up to three years in state prison, prosecutors said.

The movie star is accused of failing to abide by the terms of a court-ordered rehabilitation program by using a prosthetic penis, similar to a device sold over the Internet under the brand name Whizzinator, to fake the results of a drug test.

Prosecutors say Sizemore also failed to submit to a drug test after his last court appearance, as ordered by the judge.

The actor subsequently was a no-show for a probation violation hearing July 12, and the judge issued an arrest warrant. That warrant was “held” when his attorneys said Sizemore had checked into a private medical facility.

He was due back in Los Angeles County Superior court Friday, but the proceeding was delayed while his lawyers tried to work out a deal with prosecutors to let Sizemore remain at that facility if he acknowledges his probation lapse.

‘Emotionally fragile’Sizemore has been undergoing treatment at the Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena for chronic depression and drug dependency since he checked himself in July 11, according to his physician, Dr. Joseph Haraszti.

Haraszti said he believed the actor’s mood disorder was the underlying cause of his substance abuse.

“He’s still emotionally fragile, but every day he’s getting better,” Haraszti told Reuters. He described Sizemore as ”highly motivated” to overcome his problems.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney said he was inclined to accept the deal provided officials overseeing the state’s court-approved drug treatment program give their blessing. But he said the final decision was up to Judge Paula Mabrey.

“The court has to be satisfied that (doctors at the hospital) are going to accurately and reliably report on his progress,” Carney said.

Sizemore’s lawyers asked the Mabrey to allow Sizemore to skip Friday’s hearing, but she insisted he appear for the proceeding.

Sizemore pleaded guilty last fall to possessing the drug methamphetamine and was ordered in March to enter a drug treatment program under probation.

In a separate case, the actor was sentenced in March to 21 months in jail on another drug-related probation violation stemming from his conviction for beating his ex-girlfriend, the former “Hollywood madam” Heidi Fleiss.

Sizemore remains free on $25,000 bail pending the outcome of his appeal in the Fleiss case.