Tom Hanks got called to jury duty in Los Angeles and being the good, decent American that he is, he went! Yes! Tom Hanks! The Oscar-winning actor and star of super awesome films such as Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Charlie Wilson’s War, Big, Turner and Hooch, and a bunch of others. And let’s not forget the TV show, Bosom Buddies! His star power was a bit too fantastic for the courtroom, however, and the case ended in a plea deal.
The winner of two Academy Awards showed up in a subdued black top and black-rimmed glasses (we know, the animators made his top green - it’s totally their mistake) and got to work with all the other jurors. It was noted on gossip sites that he was enormously attentive and took very careful notes. And he never even asked for special treatment, or anything.
The case was a domestic dispute involving a Russian man. He was allegedly violent with his girlfriend, who called the cops, only to call back several minutes to take the first call back. This man, Oleh Yemets, faced a year in jail, and because he is a Russian national, possibly deportation.
But boy did that guy get lucky.
During a lunch break, Mr. Hanks was in the stairwell and he bumped into a woman who worked for the L.A. City Attorney’s Office and she got all starstruck and told the actor how great she thought he was, and how everyone thought he was such a decent guy for serving jury duty like a normal person. Someone saw this, which got back to the defense lawyer, and the judge, and in the end, they had to stop the trial because tampering with the juror is like a serious no no.
In the end, the lawyers on both sides made a plea deal and the defendant, Mr. Yemets, only had to pay a $150 fine.
See, Tom Hanks IS really awesome. Even when he’s not trying. Just by BEING him.