Warrant issued for gay film icon

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An arrest warrant has been filed for gay film icon Natasha Lyonne, according to reports in the New York Times.

The paper states that a bench warrant has been issued for Miss Lyonne’s arrest – the third in a year – for failure to appear in court on charges of criminal mischief, harassment and trespassing.

Charges were filed by a former neighbour who alleged the actress threatened to harm her, trashed her apartment and threatened to molest her dog.

Rumors that Lyonne is homeless and living on the streets were denied earlier this week in the New York Post by her father, New York attorney Aaron Braunstein, who insists his daughter is wealthy and living very comfortably. “Everyone keeps saying, ‘Poor Natasha, she’s homeless,’ but she’s very wealthy,” Mr Braunstein said. “I live in a huge penthouse with nine bedrooms on the Upper West Side; her grandparents are very wealthy in Beverly Hills.”

Her father, Aaron Braunstein claims Miss Lyonne has yet to appear in court because she refuses to be tried over her alleged threat to sexually molest a former neighbour’s dog. Braunstein insists “nothing happened.”

“It’s obvious the case is going to be dismissed,” he said. “(Criminal lawyers) Mel Sachs, Ben Brafman and Bruce Cutler say unless the dog testifies, there’s no case.”

But Mr Braunstein refused to comment on the status of his daughter’s health, who hasn’t been seen in public for nearly a year. Miss Lyonne had been missing following her last scheduled court date in April, 2005, which she left early.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Abraham Clott had put out an arrest warrant and the actress was subsequently evicted from her New York apartment by landlord and fellow actor Michael Rappaport, a friend of Miss Lyonne who initially invited her to move in after the two hit it off at an event in 1997.

Last year, Mr Rappaport told E! Online, her life had been in a downward spiral since the fall of 2003. He said he responded to ongoing complaints from neighbours that Lyonne was partying at all hours of the night and constantly had “random men sprawled out at her place at all times” by confronting the actress.

“I felt sick to my stomach the moment she touched me. Her body was so skinny,” he said in April. “It looked like a grenade had gone off. There was garbage everywhere. There were glasses smashed in the kitchen and standing water in the clogged tub with flies hovering over it. That girl needs help.” Rappaport told reporters a few months ago he hadn’t seen or heard from her since he’d thrown her out, but wished only the best for her.

Miss Lyonne has a history of trouble with the law, dating back to 2002 when she pled guilty to a DUI charge in Miami and was subsequently ordered to six months probation and 50 hours community service.

The actress has not had a publicist or Hollywood representation for more than a year. She was last seen on the big screen in Blade: Trinity in 2004. Her latest film, the indie comedy My Suicidal Sweetheart, premiered at South by Southwest in Austin last March. A studio has yet to attach itself to the film.

It’s been months since the media has issued any updates on the status of 26-year-old actress Natasha Lyonne, who was found earlier this year fighting for her life in a New York hospital.

Miss Lyonne, who rose to fame in films like Slums of Beverly Hills and American Pie and made a name for herself in the gay community with But I’m a Cheerleader and Die, Mommie, Die, was found checked into Manhattan’s Beth Israel Hospital last summer fighting a collapsed lung, a heart infection and Hepatitis C.

It was rumoured that Miss Lyonne was also being treated for Heroin addiction.

© 2005 Angelo Pezzote, All Rights Reserved