Mistrial In Fernanda Romero Sham-Marriage Case: New Trial Ordered
The intriguing trial of Mexican actress Fernanda Romero, accused of getting married so she could legally come to the United States and then lying about it to immigration officials, ended in a mistrial Friday.
The mistrial was declared a day after most of the jurors complained to the judge about a holdout, with one saying the person had a "hostile attitude." U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real told the panelists to give it one more try Friday morning -- to no avail. The jurist, who has been on the bench since the mid-1960s, said, "This is the first time in my years on the bench I've had this problem."
The 28-year-old Mexican television actress, who appeared in Jessica Alba's 2008 film The Eye, is accused of paying 28-year-old Kent Ross $5,000 to marry him. A photographer's lawsuit against Rock & Republic jeans entrepreneur Michael Ball first made the allegation. Both of those men were reported to have gone out with Romero.
A report in Friday's Los Angeles Business Journal indicates the Romero case might have set off an the latest doping allegations to dog Lance Armstrong. It turns out Ball is a pro-cycling booster whose Marina Del Rey home was searched in May in what might or might not be part of a probe of Armstrong's alleged doping.
Romero's retrial was set for Jan. 18.