Christian Curry, the banker and former Playguy model who aroused controversy in 1998 after filing a $1.3 billion racial and sexual discrimination suit against Morgan Stanley, is set to appear in Superior Court in Los Angeles next month to face three felony charges: one of making criminal threats and two of resisting arrest, resulting in injury to several L.A.P.D. police officers, according to Sandi Gibbons, public information officer for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The charges Mr. Curry is facing were initially filed on Jan. 18 2006. (Less than a month before that, he pleaded no contest to unlawfully taking a vehicle, a misdemeanor formerly known as “felony joyriding.”) Since that initial arraignment, Mr. Curry, believed to be in his late 30’s and currently representing himself, has made 49 court appearances, according to Ms. Gibbons, and was each time granted a continuance. His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 27.
In his initial dealings with the court, Mr. Curry was assisted by attorney Stephen Rodriguez, who relieved himself from the case about six months ago. “The overall experience, I’d have to say, was like—you know when you take a bite of something and it’s so distinct and maybe so terrible that it leaves that flavor in your mouth forever—like liver, you only need to have one bite of liver to remember how bad it tastes?” Mr. Rodriguez said in a phone conversation with the Transom on Monday, Nov. 26. “This guy’s kind of like that. Somehow he thinks he’s graduated magna cum laude from law school.” He added that Mr. Curry, who contended that the police had made threats against his life and that of his (unidentified) partner, had been found in contempt of court numerous times because of his theatrics—“making off-the-wall comments like you’ve never heard” in a “loud, booming voice”—and that this behavior has turned charges that would’ve likely resulted in probation into “a state prison case.”
After a year of taking up the court’s time with endless requests and motions of discovery and rejecting several deals offered by the prosecution, Mr. Curry, who at one point had to be extradited from New York to L.A., has successfully “ruffled the feathers” of not only the judge but much of the L.A.P.D.’s top brass, vouched his former lawyer. “He’s also worked it up to now somehow pissing off the captain of the fire department,” Mr. Rodriguez said.
Reinhold Mueller, the latest of a number of deputy district attorneys to handle the case, is confident that Mr. Curry’s newest pretrial date will not result in another continuance. “I do believe a lot of the issues have been heard or resolved,” he said. “If it stays on the current track, trial would be within 28 days. We’re hopeful that’s what happens.”
Mr. Curry could not be reached for comment. His suit against Morgan Stanley was settled in 2000; terms were not disclosed, but previously published reports estimate that he received anywhere from $15 million to $52 million.