BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) - It was a scene befitting a Hollywood true crime drama: A prominent Beverly Hills publicist was gunned down in her Mercedes-Benz after attending a movie premiere, sending the luxury car careening into a light post near Sunset Boulevard.
Police said Ronni Chasen was shot in the chest several times and killed early Tuesday in an attack that stunned Hollywood, where she was a revered figure after promoting the Oscar-winning film “Driving Miss Daisy” and other major movies and stars over the years.
Fellow publicist Howard Bragman called the killing bizarre.
“She wasn’t a shady character,” he said. “It’s a small community and she was one of the fixtures in it.”
Witnesses said they heard gunshots in the serene Beverly Hills neighborhood and called 911 before going outside to help.
“I heard the ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ of gunshots, ran up to the window, and there was the back of the car,” Nahid Schekarchian, who lives in an apartment above the crash site, told The Associated Press.
She said her daughter-in-law called 911 and her son and a neighbor ran down to the car and found Chasen, who was struggling to breathe and bleeding from her nose and chest.
The front passenger’s window was shattered.
The killing took place after Chasen attended the premiere of the movie “Burlesque,” which the trade publication Variety said she was promoting for Screen Gems to position the soundtrack for an Oscar nomination.
Chasen “was at our premiere last night and so full of her trademark energy and love of life,” said Amy Pascal, co-chair of Screen Gems owner Sony Pictures. “We are heartbroken, shocked and completely devastated.”
Chasen was struck down in the midst of her busiest time of year _ Hollywood’s award season, when the movie studios mount expensive campaigns to promote their better films for awards consideration using spin-specialists like Chasen.
Chasen’s other clients included movie producers Irwin Winkler and Richard D. Zanuck.View Entire Story
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A collection of communities writers columns on Benghazi
We welcome you to the intimate and personal thoughts on the news and events we, as editors, watch, read, and discuss with our writers every day.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Looking at pop culture, politics and social issues.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc