LATEST: Actor Rip Torn was cleared of drink driving charges by a New York court yesterday (28OCT04).

The EMMY-winning star, real name ELMORE TORN, had stood accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after crashing into the back of a taxi in Greenwich Village, Manhattan earlier this year (13JAN04).

The 73-year-old said after being acquitted, "This is one of the great events in my life. To be in the hands of this wonderful jury. I love New York." He then went on to shake each of the four male jurors by the hand and planted kisses on the two female jurors.

After his arrest the Men In Black actor had been filmed hurling abuse at police officers and refusing to take a sobriety test.

Defence lawyer ADAM LEVY asserted in his closing speech that Torn's outbursts were caused by anger at his mistreatment rather than drunkenness.

Levy said that Torn was raging because he had been handcuffed for no reason and prevented from using the bathroom. He acknowledged that his client was embarrassed by his behaviour, but asserted that he had only consumed two drinks on the night of the accident.

01/11/2004 10:39