A Hollywood actor with a history of drug abuse and domestic violence convictions has found himself in trouble once again. Not only is Tom Sizemore facing criminal charges for allegedly hitting his girlfriend, a stuntman has just filed a personal injury lawsuit claiming the actor was intoxicated during filming and ran him over.
The lawsuit was filed in late October in Los Angeles Superior Court. Also named in the lawsuit is the production company. In early July the cast and crew were filming an episode of the USA Network action show Shooter at a remote desert airport in northern Los Angeles County. Sizemore was behind the wheel of an SUV filming a scene when, the lawsuit alleges, he deliberately hit the stuntman, pinning him under the vehicle. The stuntman suffered “numerous internal and external injuries,” including multiple broken bones. On-set medics freed the stuntman before paramedics arrived. He was airlifted to an area hospital for treatment.
Local sheriff's officials opted not to investigate the incident, leaving it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigate. Therefore, no breath test was conducted nor were blood or urine samples taken to determine the actor's blood alcohol concentration at the time of the incident.
The lawsuit alleges the actor “committed a willful and unprovoked physical act of aggression ... by intentionally ... running over (the victim's) prone body.”
Sizemore has a long history of legal troubles, including charges of violence. Two weeks after he allegedly ran over the stuntman, he was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor counts stemming from an alleged incident of domestic violence. His girlfriend told police she and the actor had gotten into an argument and he struck her in the head and face. He has entered a not-guilty plea.
It is not the first time Sizemore has been suspected of drug abuse and violent behavior. In 2003, he was sentenced to six months in jail for beating up his then-girlfriend, “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss. His probation was revoked two years later when he was caught using a prosthetic device to try to beat a drug test. In 2007, he was sent to prison for violating his probation after he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession. His struggles with substance abuse also were documented in an unscripted cable television show in which he starred.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats and emotional abuse.
Nationally, intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime in the United States. On an average day in Washington state in 2014, nearly 2,000 victims and survivors were served by domestic violence programs and another 550 were turned away due to lack of resources. Also in 2014 in Washington:
- Intimate partners, both men and women, perpetrated almost 20 percent of aggravated assaults and more than 32 percent of simple assaults.
- Intimate partners were responsible for 41 percent of abductions.
- 44 people were killed in domestic violence homicides.
Anyone can suffer a momentary lapse in judgement or an accident due to intoxication that can have serious, and sometimes fatal, consequences. But the unintended consequences of these acts do not have to ruin your life. If you find yourself arrested for domestic violence or related charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.