HeadLine: GET RITCHIE QUICK VID SNATCHED BY SHERIFF
The Mirror, 06/03/2001, p11
by SHAUN MILNE
A SECRET video of Madonna’s baby Rocco being christened at a Scots
cathedral must be destroyed, a sheriff ordered yesterday.
The 24-minute recording was made as a star-studded list of guests,
including pop star Sting and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, took part in the
private service at Dornoch Cathedral in Sutherland, oblivious to the
Robert Podesta, 51, who yesterday admitted to filming it, has been
ordered to reveal how much he would have been paid for the footage.
Dornoch Sheriff Court heard how Podesta hid behind the organ 24 hours
before Maddy and fiance, film director Guy Ritchie, arrived for the
December 21 baptism, a day before their Highland wedding.
But after “furtively videoing” the service, he was caught sneaking out.
Alasdair MacDonald, prosecuting, told the court that Madonna had
obtained special permission for a private service.
But, afterwards, security staff caught Podesta leaving with a rucksack
containing a camcorder.
He confessed to having filmed the baptism but was then spotted trying
to hide a video cassette under a pew cushion.
MacDonald said: “His intention was to sell this recording which would
have some considerable commercial value.”
Podesta was not in court yesterday but his lawyer, Craig Wood, entered
pleas on his behalf.
Wood said: “He got involved in this venture for a bit of fun, a bit of
excitement, but now realises that he has been a fool and he regrets
Sheriff Ian Cameron ordered the video’s destruction and called for
Podesta to appear on March 29 to describe his financial circumstances.
His co-accused James Bufton, 33, of Usk in Monmouthshire, had his not
guilty pleas accepted.
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