Jail term adds to misery for Diana Ross

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The Independent US

The singer Diana Ross hit an all-time low yesterday as she contemplated two days in prison after an Arizona judge convicted her for driving down the wrong side of the road while drunk.

The former lead singer of the Supremes pleaded no contest by telephone from New York on Monday. It is the latest embarrassment for Ross, 59. In 1999, she was detained at Heathrow airport for fighting with a female security guard. In 2000, a reunion tour of the Supremes flopped and in 2002 she spent time in an alcohol rehabilitation clinic. A spokesman for the singer said that she had some "personal problems" to clear up.

But her lowest moment may have been in December 2002, when a motorist phoned police to report a car driving the wrong way down a busy road in suburban Tucson, late at night. Officers found a red-eyed Ross outside a video shop, unable to stand on one foot or write the alphabet. Efforts by Ross to keep the episode from the public failed when the judge accepted media requests that the police video of her arrest be released. It was aired and yesterday America's tabloids published the arrest sheet with the failed attempt at writing A-Z.

On Monday, the judge sentenced Ross to two days in a Los Angeles prison. Under the plea agreement, two related charges were dropped. She must also pay an $850 fine and complete a year's unsupervised probation.

Ronald Beran, a deputy city attorney in Tuscon, said: "She got whatever an ordinary citizen would have received."