Swedish reality star resolves case
Swedish Hollywood Wives star Gunilla Persson has resolved her shoplifting case, sending her attorney to court an hour and a half before a scheduled plea conference Friday, court records show.
Persson, 59, who lives in Los Angeles and has for eight years starred in the popular Scandinavian reality TV show Svenska Hollywoodfruar, was arrested by Palm Beach police May 22 and charged with shoplifting a $545 pair of designer sunglasses from Chanel on Worth Avenue.
Persson had been scheduled for a 10 a.m. plea conference hearing in West Palm Beach. But according to a court docket, an associate of defense attorney Phillip T. Ridolfo Jr., identified only as “stand in attorney Meyers,” came in to court at 8:30 a.m. and Judge Leonard Hanser approved a deal in which Persson agreed to pretrial diversion and the charge was dropped. Her lawyers paid $100 in court costs.
The court document said Persson was not present.
Defendants are not required to be in court for hearings, even to resolve their cases, as long as their attorneys waive their right to be there, State Attorney’s spokesman Mike Edmondson said Friday.
Persson had faced a charge of petit theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors on June 21 had lessened it from grand theft of between $300 and $5,000. That’s a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
A document did not give a reason for the change, and the state attorney’s office has not commented.
According to the police report, an officer watched security camera video that showed a woman later identified as Persson don the glasses, walk to a corner of the store, slide them to the top of her head and return to the counter to buy a handbag. She then left.
The officer, who was provided a description from the manager as well as the video, later spotted Persson near the store and stopped her. As the two talked, Persson took the sunglasses from her purse and placed them on her head as if they belonged to her, the officer wrote. He said the tags had been removed.
The officer said Persson then said she was going to return the sunglasses later.