More MS news articles for September 2000

Eastwood fights suit claiming violation of Disabilities Act

Updated September 20, 2000, 9:50 a.m. ET

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Clint Eastwood insists he's on the right side of the law in a federal case accusing him of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The actor-director defended himself Tuesday at a press conference outside the courthouse where a lawsuit against his hotel will be heard.

Jurors were scheduled to hear opening statements Wednesday.

Eastwood is fighting a lawsuit filed by Diane zum Brunnen, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. She claims a bathroom and other parts of Eastwood's Mission Ranch hotel in Carmel were inaccessible in 1996.

"Obviously I have doubts about that, and that's why I'm here," Eastwood told reporters. More than a dozen autograph-seeking fans surrounded the actor following the briefing.

Eastwood contends her claims are bogus, and says his 31-room hotel has had a wheelchair-accessible bathroom since 1988.

While Eastwood's star power has drawn public attention to the case, plaintiff's attorney John Burris said he hopes it will not bias the jury.

"We want the jurors to hold him accountable like everyone else, and because he's a celebrity, they might want to give him the benefit of the doubt," Burris said. "Our job is to make them look beyond him as a celebrity, director and actor."