Celebrity scalps: If you've got drugs, don't go to Sierra Blanca...
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Saturday 22 September 2012
Stars from Lightnin' Hopkins to Johnny Cash have sung about the jailhouse blues. But there may soon be another tune to add to the catalogue after Grammy Award-winning singer Fiona Apple spent a night behind bars in a small Texas town noted for its celebrity scalps.
The American singer-songwriter won the Grammy for her single "Criminal" in 1996, and was treated like one on Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of drug possession when her tour bus was searched by guards near the US-Mexico border.
Apple spent the night in custody in Sierra Blanca, whose jailhouse has also hosted Willie Nelson, the rapper Snoop Dogg and The Social Network actor Armie Hammer.
The cannabis on the singer's tour bus was discovered after sniffer dogs picked up the scent during a routine check in an area where drug stops are common thanks to the proximity of the Mexican border.
Rusty Fleming, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said that officers found "a little tiny amount of pot and hash" in a backpack during a search.
Apple closed her eyes as her mugshot was taken after she admitted the four grams of hashish were hers. Mr Fleming said the seven others on the bus were allowed to drive on after the singer's admission.
Yesterday news of her arrest sparked surprise and amusement. The rapper Frank Ocean tweeted "free Fiona", while many on the social network joked over her award-winning song lyrics: "What I need is a good defence/'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal."
The 35-year-old was respectful and calm during her ordeal, the sheriff's spokesman said, although she did become concerned when she learnt she would have to stay overnight. She was released on Thursday after posting bail of $10,000 (roughly £6,000). Apple was due to perform in Austin later that night as part of her North American tour for her new album The Idler Wheel, but postponed the performance.
Sierra Blanca is a small town about 20 miles from the Mexican border and its jail cells have seen a few famous inmates, albeit briefly. In November, the tour bus of country music legend Willie Nelson was searched and officials found six ounces of marijuana.
The 77-year-old was charged with a misdemeanour and released after posting bail of $2,500. The county sheriff said at the time that the Sierra Blanca Border Patrol checkpoint along Interstate 10 averages up to 15 drug-related arrests a day.
It was the latest in a series of Nelson's run-ins with the law, but the first which was almost resolved with an unusual bargain. The prosecutor suggested as a joke that he pay a $100 fine and sing "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain". The judge initially agreed, but has since blocked the deal. Armie Hammer, who played both Winklevoss twins in the Facebook movie, was held for marijuana possession in the same town the same month as Nelson. The small amounts meant he was released on $1,000 bail after a day in Hudspeth County Jail. Two months later, Snoop Dogg was stopped at the checkpoint, and officials found rolled joints and containers of pot. He was released after a summons.
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Slough train station deaths: Woman and child killed after being 'pushed in front of train'
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books
£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...