NEW YORK (AP) — New York has a star-studded jury pool, and if Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shows up Monday — he’s failed to appear five times since 2006 — he will join a long list of celebrities who have made the trip to lower Manhattan to sit with hundreds of others who could be picked to decide trials.
That list has included directors Woody Allen and Spike Lee, actors Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathleen Turner, comedians Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien, and TV news anchors Tom Brokaw and Barbara Walters.
Jury duty in New York has a long attracted an interesting cast of characters:
The Material Girl was summarily dismissed a couple of hours after showing up at state court last year, though the special treatment she received raised eyebrows. Instead of rubbing shoulders with the masses in the sprawling jury duty waiting room, she got to wait privately in a clerk’s office. A court spokesman explained that officials didn’t want Madonna’s presence to distract the other jurors.
“The greater good here is that her appearance really goes to show that everyone gets called,” he said.
Even though the former president was not made to show up for jury duty in 2003, he was nonetheless seriously considered for an attempted murder case in Manhattan federal court. He was referred to only as Prospective Juror No. 142, but his identity became clear when his answers to various questions were read aloud. Under previous jobs, he listed “President of the United States.”
Prosecutors asked for immediate disqualification, but the defense objected. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, a Clinton appointee, decided that No. 142 and his Secret Service protection would “undermine our efforts to keep the case focused quietly on the evidence.”
The former White House intern who had an affair with Clinton while he was president was questioned in 2002 as a potential juror in a state case involving a personal-injury lawsuit against the city. A clerk said that when Lewinsky was asked if she could be fair, she replied she did not think she could serve. As questioning continued, she became teary-eyed and the attorneys and judge agreed she should be excused.
The lawyer, author and daughter of former President John F. Kennedy was selected to serve on a state court jury in 2013 that acquitted a man accused of dealing crack cocaine.
During jury selection, she didn’t mention whether any member of her family had been a victim of a crime. Asked if she or a family member had close ties to law enforcement, Kennedy said her brother once worked as an assistant district attorney. The late John F. Kennedy Jr. had worked in the Manhattan DA’s office.
Jury duty for a sitting mayor was an event in 2007, with the billionaire Bloomberg spending part of his day signing autographs, being sketched by courtroom artists and getting personal greetings from a state judge and attorneys.
He was considered for an asbestos lawsuit, but an attorney wanted assurances that the mayor would not dominate a potential jury of five other people.
“I would be one voice of six, but I’ve got a strong personality, and you’d have to ask them what they think,” Bloomberg replied.
He was not chosen.
The man who would become known as “America’s Mayor” actually made it onto a jury — as the foreman — in 1999 while in office. The panel rejected a security guard’s claim that he was seriously scalded in the shower by a blast of hot water, an injury he blamed on his landlord’s negligence.
The plaintiff’s lawyer said afterward that the mayor’s presence was detrimental to his case but Giuliani disagreed.
“They didn’t treat me like the mayor,” he said.
The actor best known from the TV sitcoms “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss” served on a drug case last year. On his way into the courthouse, he told the New York Daily News that he’d been there 30 years earlier, when he was under arrest for fighting in a restaurant.
“I think the last time I was here was in 1984 when I was in a lot of trouble,” he said with a chuckle.
The paper reported that Danza was convicted back then of misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief.
The Daily News reported that the retired TV host spent a day on jury duty this year and said he was glad he wasn’t picked because he didn’t want to be responsible for sending anyone to jail.
“No! No! I don’t want to serve!” Philbin said.