[Ed.note—We've gotten so many e-mails asking if we'd heard about Lee Tamahori that we're bumping this post from yesterday afternoon up to the top of the page. Is it really so hard to scroll down, people? A small update also follows the original item.]
Anyone spending more than a couple of days working in the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood eventually makes prostitutes of us all. Usually, however, the transformation is not quite so literal:
TMZ has learned, director Lee Tamahori was scheduled to be arraigned today, on charges that he allegedly solicited an undercover cop while dressed in drag.
Tamahori, whose directing credits include, 'Die Another Day,' 'XXX: State of the Union,' 'Along Came a Spider' and 'The Sopranos,' was arrested in Hollywood on January 8, 2006. According to law enforcement, Tamahori was allegedly dressed in drag, approached an undercover officer who was in his car, entered the vehicle and offered to perform a sex act for money.
Remember, Tamahori must be considered innocent until proven otherwise by the legal system. Who's to say that he wasn't merely walking home after buying some clothes for a ladyfriend, and then, after the shopping bag suddenly fell apart, decided it would be easier to just wear the clothes home, stopping along the way to ask a motorist the directions to Blowjob Boulevard?
But if the charges hold up, we should all still hold our judgment. We imagine that after the assuredly harrowing experience of directing xXx: State of the Union, even Orson Welles would rather swear off Hollywood's dirty money, dig out his mother's best evening gown, and go looking for supplemental income on Santa Monica Boulevard than have another fight with Ice Cube about which is his "good side."
UPDATE: From the NY Daily News' report on the incident from this morning:
Available reports did not say what price the New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has worked with macho stars including Nick Nolte, Alec Baldwin, Pierce Brosnan and James Gandolfini, requested for the service.
LAPD Officer Jason Lee said the department will not release Tamahori's mug shot due to "department policy."
"The defendant was loitering on the sidewalk in drag and then approached an undercover officer in his car and offered to orally copulate him for money," Mateljan said.
Sadly, it will take a few more arrests of soliciting, cross-dressing
directors (Please, God, let it be Michael Bay next! His wardrobe could probably use the update.) before any kind of market price can be set for the sex act in question.