The youngest member of the original hit-making Pointer Sisters was charged Monday with cocaine possession, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.
June Pointer Whitmore, 50, was arrested last Thursday with two other people outside the Hollywood apartment of her older sister, Bonnie, but was released on bail.
Bonnie Pointer, who left the group in 1978 to pursue a solo career with Motown, was not charged in the case. Whitmore has not performed with the Pointer Sisters in more than three years, their lawyer, Martin Singer, told Reuters.
The two remaining members of the original lineup, Anita and Ruth Pointer, previously obtained a court order barring their younger sibling from the group and asserting their exclusive rights to the Pointer Sisters name, Singer said.
He said Whitmore was kicked out of the group because of repeated substance abuse problems that prevented her from making several appearances.
Anita and Ruth Pointer, who now perform as a trio with Ruth’s daughter, Issa, are currently en route to Belgium for a tour, Singer said. He said they were in Montana last week recording a DVD when Whitmore was arrested.
Details of Whitmore’s arrest were sketchy. But a spokeswoman for prosecutors said she and her co-defendants were confronted by police officers who responded to citizen complaints and found them in possession of cocaine and cocaine pipes.
Whitmore is charged with one count of cocaine possession and a lesser charge of possessing an illegal smoking device. Although conviction carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, Whitmore would be eligible for a California program that allows first-time offenders to have their record expunged if they complete drug rehabilitation.
The original Pointer Sisters trio produced a string of hits in the late 1970s and early ’80s, including a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire,” “He’s So Shy” and “Slow Hand.”
Legal representatives for Whitmore were not readily available. No arraignment date has been announced.