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Baldwin accused found in contempt

Before her trial has even concluded, the woman accused of stalking actor Alec Baldwin has been sentenced to 30 days in jail after a series of courtroom outbursts led to her being declared in contempt of court.

After Genevieve Sabourin's days of sobs, gasps, remarks and interruptions continued during some legal arguments today, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Robert Mandelbaum told her: "That's it." He found her in contempt and issued the punishment, which means she will be in prison while the trial continues.

Judge Mandelbaum had warned Sabourin he might do so if she did not stop speaking out during the proceedings. He is hearing the case without a jury.

Sabourin greeted the development with a soliloquy about the strain of the trial and the pain of hearing what she says are false allegations, calling herself "a person who is totally exhausted, humiliated, beat up, destroyed, alone".

"My life is shattered in pieces," she said.

The 41-year-old Canadian met Baldwin in 2000 during the filming of the sci-fi comedy The Adventures Of Pluto Nash. He had a cameo role and she was working as a publicist.

The pair had dinner together in New York in 2010, both sides say.

Baldwin and prosecutors say she then conducted a campaign of harassment which escalated from phone calls and emails to turning up uninvited at his homes.

"It was nightmarish," Baldwin, 55, said in evidence yesterday. He likened the situation to an Alfred Hitchcock production.

Baldwin "became very flirtatious" at their first meeting in 2000 and invited her to visit him at his Hamptons home, Sabourin said as she began giving evidence today. She says the pair had a sexual and romantic relationship, which Baldwin denies.

Meanwhile, another Hollywood figure has become an issue in the case: Scarface and Dog Day Afternoon producer Martin Bregman, who was also a producer onPluto Nash.

Baldwin testified that Sabourin was Bregman's mistress and that Bregman asked the actor to give her advice. The married Bregman, however, later said by phone that he "never had an affair with her" and was shocked that Baldwin had said otherwise. Sabourin also says she and Bregman were not romantically involved.

Bregman told the Associated Press yesterday that he thought Baldwin had found Sabourin attractive, but "I don't know if anything happened between the two of them".

Prosecutors included Bregman on their list of potential witnesses but did not call him because he told them "he had little to say about this incident", Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Zachary Stendig said today.

But Judge Mandelbaum agreed to what is called a "missing witness" instruction, allowing him to infer that Bregman's evidence would not have been favourable to the prosecution.

Bregman is not expected to testify for the defence either.

AP

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