Actor James Cromwell has finally broken his silence over his jail sentence.
The 77-year-old actor had been meted a seven-day jail sentence after his refusal to pay a fine levied against him for a power plant protest in 2015. The multiple-award winning actor had protested alongside an environmental rights group–Protect Orange County over the company’s use of fracked natural gas.
According to the environmental activists, the carbon emissions from the plant posed health and safety risks to the local community. However, the natural gas-plant insists that it is adhering to the strict limits set by the New York Department of Environmental Conversation and will pull out all stops to safeguard the environment and human health.
The protesters had staged a sit-in at the New York power plant, obstructing traffic into the facility which is considered a violation. According to Variety, six of the protesters were arrested including the Babe actor and fined $250 plus a $125 surcharge. Terri Klemm, Maureen Murphy-Smolka, and Naomi Miller paid their fines. However, Madeline Shaw, Pramilla Malick, and James Cromwell refused to pay the fines handed out to them by a New York court.
An incredulous judge had asked the actor who has enjoyed a lucrative career that has spanned 35 years, if he was refusing to pay the fine. The Green Mile actor had responded with a resounding yes.
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Cromwell’s sentence has been suspended until July 14, giving his attorney ample room to appeal the verdict. Cromwell’s attorney speaking with E! News said his client refused to pay the fine because “his conscience does not allow him to pay those who are corrupt and destroying the planet.”
The Emmy-award winning actor, who is billed to star in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 2018 speaking to the Herald-Record, hopes his uncompromising stance would spur people into joining their cause. The Hollywood actor with an alleged net worth of $8 million explained his reason for opting for jail time instead of paying the fine, pointing out that “if we don’t stay together nothing will change.”
This is not the first time that the Los Angeles native would be involved in such matters. In 2013, the Oscar-nominated actor interrupted a university board meeting to protest the alleged torture of cats for scientific research. Jeremy Beckham, spokesman for PETA, an animal rights organization had alleged that 30 cats were been deafened, starved or decapitated at the university every year.
The actor alongside animal rights activists had held up a placard showing a cat in the University of Wisconsin-Madison laboratory with a metal entrenched in its head. The LA Confidential actor had shouted “this is not science, this is torture, this is criminal,” before being led away in handcuffs by the police.
[Featured Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images]