Six weeks after articles hit the web saying Django Unchained actress, Daniele Watts, had been mistaken for a prostitute and detained by police, Watts and her boyfriend have both been formally charged with lewd conduct.
According to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, the couple’s arraignments are scheduled for Nov. 13. Watts and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, could each face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines if convicted.
Watts was detained by police on Sept. 11 and she took to her Facebook page soon after to allege racism and misconduct by the Studio City police.
“Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place,” Watts wrote at the time. “As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that ‘authority figures’ could control my BEING… my ability to BE!!!!!!!”
But after the incident became widely publicized, TMZ published photos that showed what looked like more than innocent affection happening between Watts and her boyfriend inside a parked car. According to the site, a witness said Watts was straddling Lucas inside the car with her shirt pulled up.
According to the New Zealand Herald, police first said they had determined no crime had been committed and said an audio recording of the incident refuted Watts’ claims of racial profiling. After TMZ’s photos were published, police decided to investigate further and to bring charges against Watts and Lucas.