Liza Minnelli target of mugging attempt

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The Independent Online

The newly-wed singer and actress Liza Minnelli was a victim of an attempted mugging in London when thieves tried to snatch a diamond necklace she was wearing.

The attackers grabbed for the £10,000 diamond-encrusted crucifix through the window of her limousine on Thursday night as it stopped at traffic lights. Minnelli was sitting in the back seat with her new husband, David Gest. The couple were returning from BBC studios where they had been recording an appearance on a chat show with Jonathan Ross, which was broadcast last night.

The couple's chauffeur foiled the attack in Holland Park, west London, by closing the electric window. The attackers then tried to force open the door, but the driver put his foot down and sped off to safety.

A spokesman said: "They had stopped at traffic lights and the window was down. Someone put their hand into the car and Liza, who is incredibly gracious to her fans, thought it was an autograph hunter. But the driver had the foresight to predict what was about to happen and closed the window."

Ms Minnelli seemed totally recovered at her London hotel yesterday, saying: "I'm feeling great, I feel fine. I'm having a great time in London, this is my second home."

She said it was "just a few kids fooling around". Asked again how she felt, she said: "I am a New Yorker, after all."

The couple did not report the attempted robbery to the police, Scotland Yard said.

It is the latest incident in which celebrities have fallen victim to crime in London. The broadcaster Angela Rippon was attacked in Ladbroke Grove in December by two men who escaped with a Rolex watch and two rings. Television presenter Anthea Turner was in a car outside the Stringfellows nightclub when a man lunged through the door and stole a £20,000 Rolex Oyster from her companion.