Kirsten Dunst Takes the Stand in Purse-Snatching Retrial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    FilmMagic
    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 20: Kirsten Dunst is seen walking in the streets of Manhattan on September 20, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)

    It was witness stand, the sequel, for Kirsten Dunst.

    The "Spider-Man" star reprised her role Tuesday as a star witness against a mechanic being tried — for the second time — on charges of helping steal her designer purse from a Manhattan hotel suite during a 2007 movie shoot.

    Wearing a demure, loose black dress and a sometimes weary expression, the actress gave jurors a clipped, subdued account of returning from filming to find her $2,000 Balenciaga handbag gone from a SoHo Grand Hotel penthouse suite.

    Her assistant's bag and co-star Simon Pegg's cell phone and other possessions also were taken from the room, which was being used as an actors' lounge while the 2008 comedy "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" was shot downstairs.

    "All our belongings were gone. I thought that my assistant had taken them and put them somewhere else, but everything was gone," Dunst testified. Inside the bag were her wallet, credit and other cards, vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and $2,000 in cash, she said.

    Besides calling hotel security staffers and police, "We even went outside to look for our bags, like maybe it was dumped in a Dumpster," she added.

    The mechanic, James Jimenez, was convicted last fall of trespassing, but jurors deadlocked on a more serious burglary charge. He's being retried on that charge. Defense lawyer Robert Parker said Jimenez, 36, just tagged along with a co-defendant he believed had permission to be there.

    Dunst, 28, played her part in the real-life court drama Tuesday in a noticeably more somber, matter-of-fact manner than she did at Jimenez' first trial in September, when she greeted judge and jurors with a chipper "Hi!"

    She rebuffed Parker's suggestion of a party atmosphere surrounding the overnight shoot on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, 2007, which concluded her filming obligations for the movie.

    Parker has noted that co-defendant Jarrod Beinerman has a drug history, including pleading guilty in the 1990s to playing a part in a drug-dealing ring. Beinerman wasn't charged with any drug-related offenses in the SoHo Grand episode; he pleaded guilty in 2008 to attempted burglary and was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. His lawyer didn't immediately return a call Tuesday.

    Dunst's assistant, Liat Baruch, testified last week that she had a small amount of marijuana in her own bag and was planning to smoke it after the shoot. But she and Dunst testified that Dunst knew nothing of that, and Dunst said she doesn't smoke the drug in general.

    "We wrapped at 5:30 in the morning and found our bags were stolen, so we went home," having celebrated with nothing more decadent than a takeout dinner order from the posh sushi restaurant Nobu, the actress said.

    Her bag, wallet and cards were eventually returned to her manager's office, but she never recovered the cash and sunglasses, she said.