Stefano Tonchi landed one of the most coveted jobs in fashion when he was named editor of W ten days ago. Good thing he doesn't start until April 12. He went on trial today in Beverly Hills for a DUI.
Tonchi, the former editor of T, the New York Times' style mag, was arrested last January after Beverly Hills police stopped him for what police officials described as a "routine traffic violation." According to the Beverly Hills Police Department, Tonchi refused a breathalyzer test at the scene and was subsequently arrested when he failed a battery of field sobriety tests.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office filed a single misdemeanor DUI charge against Tonchi last February and he was arraigned last March, but the trial was delayed for over a year while the defense filed several motions to suppress evidence, according to the courthouse docket. Now that he has some time off between jobs — Tonchi was named editor of the Condé Nast-owned title on March 22 but won't take over until April 12 — presumably it's a good time to take care of business. Tonchi's trial started this morning in LA Superior Court, according to court records.
A Condé Nast spokeswoman declined to comment on Tonchi's criminal charges and calls to his lawyer were not immediately returned.
Update: Tonchi's attorney, Michael Cavalluzzi, tells us he worked out a plea with LA County prosecutors this morning shortly before the trial was set to begin. Cavalluzzi said the district attorney agreed to drop the DUI charge and allowed Tonchi to plead only to the initial traffic violation—failure to stop at a limit line. He also added that Tonchi himself did not appear in court this morning, since it was "just an infraction."
The complaint is below. Click to enlarge.
[Image of Tonchi via Getty]