Rick Springfield pleads not guilty to post-FOB DUI
Springfield, an actor and singer, appeared at the Festival of Books Sunday, May 1. He spent nearly an hour on an outdoor stage speaking to KPCC's Alex Cohen and taking questions from the audience to talk about his memoir "Late, Late at Night."
Several hours later, at around 8 p.m., police stopped the "Jessie's Girl" singer in Malibu; he had been driving his 1963 Corvette. Springfield is said to have registered a blood-alcohol level of 0.10% on a breathalyzer, and was reported to have been "belligerent," threatening to kill a deputy and his family if the $200,000 Sting Ray were towed.
Springfield had been feisty during his appearance at the Festival of Books. "You! You, where are you going? Am I boring you?" he called to a departing audience member. "I'll take my pants off if you stay." On stage and in his book, Springfield was candid about wrestling with his demons, particularly depression, which he called Mr. D. "Mr. D has a pretty good sense of humor. He's sitting there in that vacant chair," Springfield said, pointing to the back row, "telling me what I jerk I am."
Wednesday, an attorney representing Springfield appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.
Springfield, who was born in Australia in 1949, made a splash in America as a pop singer in the 1980s with his hits "Jessie's Girl" and "Don't Talk to Strangers." His musical success drew attention to his role on the hit soap opera "General Hospital"; he began playing Dr. Noah Drake in 1981 and left to focus on music, but he reprised the role from 2006-2008. Springfield has continued acting on television, recently in "Hawaii Five-0" and "Californication."
He's next scheduled to appear in court; he's due there Aug. 15.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Rick Springfield signs a copy of his memoir "Late, Late at Night" during the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images