Entertainment & Arts

Couple jailed for Bangkok Film Festival bribery

Jeremy Irons (centre) at the Bangkok Film Festival in 2005
Image caption Jeremy Irons (centre) attended the Bangkok Film Festival in 2005

A US couple has been sent to jail in Los Angeles for bribing a Thai official so they could take control of the Bangkok Film Festival.

Gerald Green and his wife Patricia were sent to prison for six months, ordered to serve six months' home detention and pay back $250,000 (£160,000).

The film producers paid a Thai tourism boss to secure the annual event and make millions of pounds.

Actor Kirk Douglas submitted a letter supporting them during the trial.

Denied bribes

The veteran film star said in his submission to the court that the Greens "were extremely honest and fair in all of their dealings with me".

Patricia Green produced the 1999 film Diamonds, co-starring Douglas and Lauren Bacall.

The couple have become the first figures from the entertainment industry to be convicted under a new US law prohibiting corrupt payments to foreign officials for business purposes.

The Greens, who declined to address the court on the last day of proceedings, denied their payments amounting to $1.8m (£1.1m) were bribes and questioned they had made substantial profit from their dealings.

Gerald Green, 78, and his 58-year-old wife ran the Bangkok Film Festival from 2003-6, enticing Hollywood stars to attend the week-long event.

The former head of Thailand's tourism authority, Juthamas Siriwan, has been accused of accepting payments and US prosecutors are considering bringing her to trial.

The ex-official could face up to 20 years in jail for conspiracy.

She has not been charged in Thailand and denies any malpractice.

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