Woody & Denzel On Wesley
Actors write to judge on behalf of soon-to-be-sentenced Snipes
APRIL 23--Actors Denzel Washington and Woody Harrelson have written character reference letters to the federal judge who is set tomorrow to sentence their pal Wesley Snipes on federal tax charges.
In correspondence to U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges, copies of which you'll find here, neither star addresses the details of Snipes's criminal case, choosing instead to describe the convicted actor as someone who "strives for rightness in all his relations" (Harrelson), and whose guiding principles are "honesty, truth, and courage" (Washington).
Additionally, Harrelson refers to Snipes as a "true citizen of the world," who once helped him handle a tense racial situation on the set of "Wildcats," a 1986 movie starring, of all people, Goldie Hawn. Harrelson explains that a "few of the folks on the production were followers of Louis Farrakhan. It was the first time I experienced racism towards me."
For his part, Washington compares his friend to "a tree--a mighty oak."
Also writing to Hodges on Snipes's behalf were TV judges Greg Mathis and Joe Brown, and actor Bokeem Woodbine.
In February, a jury found Snipes guilty of three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns. He faces a maximum of three years in prison, which is the sentence federal prosecutors requested in a recent pre-sentencing memorandum. (2 pages)