A former Hollywood socialite who once dated star Kevin Costner became enraged and kicked a policewoman in the leg as she tried to stop her from drunkenly tearing down her house.
San Francisco-born Birgit Cunningham, 60, who dated Costner for three years, lashed out in her London apartment and screamed “shit” at officers.
Ms Cunningham, who claimed she had an affair with married Tory peer Lord Strathclyde, was once a doyen of champagne-drinking Hollywood Brits.
Your age The Sunset Strip residence – owned by film producer Julia Verdin – was nicknamed “Party Central” and regulars included Robert De Niro; John Hurt and Jack Nicholson.
But yesterday she was far from it House she once shared with actress Elizabeth Hurley when she was dragged to the imposing walls of Westminster Magistrates Court.
Birgit Cunningham (pictured outside Westminster Magistrates Court) admitted assaulting a police officer in her London flat in July this year
Ms Cunningham dated Hollywood actor Kevin Costner for three years (pictured: the couple together in Los Angeles)
Ms Cunningham, pictured in France in 2000. She has pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Alin Garbuja after officers were called to her as she drunkenly trashed her home
On Tuesday, Ms Cunningham pleaded guilty to assaulting police officer Alin Garbuja following the drunken argument in her council flat on July 11 this year.
She was given a conditional discharge for eighteen months and ordered to pay £150 compensation to the officer.
Prosecutor Alza Rashed told the court that officers arrived at her address in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at around 9.30pm.
“Neighbors called the police after receiving reports that the defendant had smashed items on their property.
“They said she was upset because her cat had just been euthanized on the advice of her vet.
“Officers noted that she was noticeably intoxicated at the time and repeatedly shouted ‘s***’ at them as she approached Officer Garbuja, who asked her to turn away.
“The officer describes the defendant as ‘aggressive’ and ‘pushy’ and that he kicked her in the leg before she was immediately handcuffed.”
“It involved a kick of considerable force against the officer, and she also attempted to hit the officer during the struggle,” the prosecutor said.
“The officer says she had scratch marks on her right hand and winced in pain when her body was touched.”
In her victim impact statement, PC Alin Garbuja said: “As a police officer I expect negative behavior but being kicked crossed the line while I was trying to help the person.”
Cunningham now lives in these flats in west London, where police were called
In 2006, former “It Girl” Ms Cunningham walked free from court after admitting she kneed her ex-lover in the groin during a courtroom brawl
Cunningham’s lawyer, Stuart McDonald, told the court that health and medication problems contributed to the incident.
“She has chronic back problems and degenerative disc disease. Her GP tried to change her medication regimen and she was withdrawn from the medication she was relying on, almost to the point of dependence.”
“She had a long-standing problem with alcohol addiction and lived a glamorous and exciting lifestyle in her youth, which is why she turned to alcohol for relief.”
Meanwhile, judges rejected the police account of the attack and agreed there was no need for a probation service report before sentencing.
“We do not believe that this was significant violence or occurred over a prolonged period of time,” said the bank’s chairman, Jeffrey Manton.
Privately educated Cunningham, who attended the exclusive £13,000-a-year Roedean girls’ school, is the daughter of a former Bank of America treasurer.
She grew up in a sprawling country house in Leatherhead, Surrey, and spent summer holidays in luxury rental houses in the south of France.
In 2000, Ms Cunningham was a rural activist and appeared covered in fake blood and handcuffed to a railing at the end of Downing Street
Clothes were bought at Harrods and Cunningham has previously spoken of being chauffeured to parties in a Bentley and living in a £1million apartment in Chelsea bought by her wealthy father.
She studied art at Rutgers College in New Jersey, worked in a Paris gallery, and then was employed as an assistant to the vice president of Universal Pictures.
Alcohol problems ended Cunnigham’s Hollywood adventures and she returned to London, immersed herself in green issues and gave birth to her son Jack, 23, in 2000 after a relationship with Old Etonian racing driver Sir Harry Nuttall.
She then campaigned for the single mother by pursuing Sir Harry over child support – which led to an arrest for assault during a courtroom altercation.
Mr McDonald added: “She refuses the structured treatment of a court-ordered alcohol treatment requirement because she is doing it herself.”
“I don’t want to disparage what the officer said, but this offense has all the hallmarks of lesser culpability.”
“The officer says, ‘At some point she kicked me in my leg.’ This is minor or non-existent force.”
The attorney asked for leniency based on: “Her age, her remorse in the interview, and her addressing the underlying cause. “She receives state benefits.”
Cunnigham’s last criminal conviction was in 2013, but details were not disclosed.
“You’ve pleaded guilty, which throws the wrench into the matter and we’ve noted your record and you’re of pretty good character,” Mr Manton told Cunningham, who appeared in court with the aid of a cane.
“We’re going by the guidelines because you should already be seeking help and continuing with Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step program.”
“There’s no point in putting you on an alcohol program since you’re already doing it yourself.”
“If you don’t make these payments, the debt collector will be at your door. “In the nicest way possible, we hope to never see your face again.”