After a Fashion

Your Style Avatar tells us about how Winona Ryder's troubles just won't go away.

CAREER, INTERRUPTED Winona, Winona, Winona. Well, you've already heard about Winona Ryder's arrest for allegedly shoplifting almost $5,000 worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, I'm sure. I always loved the story of Johnny Depp and his enormous "Winona Forever" tattoo -- oh, you know the one -- the one that after they broke up he had altered to say, "Wino Forever." (Perhaps it could be further altered to say "Klepto Forever"?) Thank heavens we can depend on The National Enquirer to provide the dirt we so desperately desire. They inform us that Winona's first brush with the law regarding shoplifting happened when she was 12. She was caught pilfering a comic book and was escorted home in handcuffs. Her parents, followers of LSD guru Timothy Leary, then tried to beat up the cops, according to Ryder. (I can imagine how embarrassing that can be ... when I was 12 and got caught shoplifting at a local drugstore, the manager called my sister to come get me! You may rest assured the incident vividly resides in her memory and can be recited at the drop of a hat.) Then comes Cindy Adams reporting that a former security staffer at a posh Beverly Hills hotel told's Jeanette Walls that Ryder's arrest did not surprise him, that her light-fingered proclivities were already well known among hoteliers. "It wasn't just towels and bathrobes and the usual stuff ... things like silverware were missing. Decorative things, too, like vases, anything that wasn't nailed down." He added that she was charged with no crime. "There was nothing illegal. We just put it all on her bill." reports that while Winona was making Deeds (the new Adam Sandler comedy based on Mr. Deeds Goes to Town), she boasted to the cast and crew about her prowess as a thief, practically billing herself as "queen of the shoplifters."

And now? The Queen of the Shoplifters takes a most embarrassing fall. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not -- just the fact that the scandal's happening is enough to sully Winona's name forever. The headlines told the entire story (my personal favorite: "Saks, Lies and Videotape"). It was reported on December 12 that she was "wandering aimlessly through the store and babbling words nobody could understand." A source for The National Enquirer said, "Winona looked so frail and sickly that nobody recognized who she was -- even though she was attracting so much attention." Her alleged shoplifting was not only allegedly observed from a distance, as Ryder was "secreted behind racks of Dolce & Gabbana," but allegedly also on videotape, as the actress removed price tags and Sensormatic tags. Ever tried to remove one of those Sensormatic tags? Evidently, Winona hadn't; armed with a pair of scissors, she cut at them, causing damage not only to the clothes, but to herself as well. Gouging her finger, she got blood on the merchandise, as well as the dressing room, and brazenly demanded that a store associate find a Band-Aid. When she tried to leave the store around 7pm, she was surrounded by security guards. When the doe-eyed thespian asked, "What did I do?" the security staff told her she could make it easy and go in the back way, or make it really hard and be escorted through the front of the store through throngs of holiday shoppers. This is the part where Winona allegedly explained that she was doing research for a film role, but police were called anyway, and Miss Ryder was arrested. When taken into custody, her purse allegedly contained Demerol, Percocet, Vicodin, and possibly Zoloft (a popular combination among the Hollywood stars who really know how to shine), none of which the actress was carrying a prescription for. It was reported, however, that she did not appear to be under the influence. She was taken to the Beverly Hills Police Station (former haven for both George Michael and Zsa Zsa Gabor) and was released on $20,000 bond after four hours. Ryder's attorney Mark Geragos says, naturally, that the incident is a "misunderstanding" with the store, and Ryder was merely transporting items between departments (perhaps she was researching the role of a stock clerk?).

And what exactly were the items to which Miss Ryder staked her reputation and possibly her career? A $650 blue deerskin purse by Prada and a cream-colored Calvin Klein purse (accessorized with Winona's own blood), as well as an assortment of Calvin Klein clothes and hair accessories. Please ... you'd think Winona could just make a simple phone call and say, "Hey, Cal, ya know that heavenly little powder blue number in your last collection ...?" The Enquirer says that "friends" of Winona (FOW?) are worried about her skeletal appearance and fear her drug habit is out of control. FOW's also report she's always had emotional problems (well, duh, remember when she backed out of The Godfather: Part III and was hospitalized for emotional exhaustion after breaking up with Depp?), but she's really gone off the deep-end since she broke up with Matt Damon a year and a half ago. Liz Smith's column reports that Winona is dating another musician, singer/songwriter Pete Yorn (other musical exes include Ryan Adams, Beck, Dave Grohl, Evan Dando, and Dave Pirner). The music world seems to hold a great deal of allure for Miss Ryder. She currently pals around with the litigious bad-girl Courtney Love. Says Love "You're no one in music until you have a feud with me or until you sleep with Winona." But tells us, "Love -- booked in Beverly Hills for a drug overdose in 1993 -- may not be the best influence: Last month the two reportedly got into a fight with two men during a U2 concert in LA in which Ryder was held in a headlock before security guards broke up the scuffle." There have also been reports that Winona has already checked into the swank Malibu rehab facility, Promises, awaiting her January 19 arraignment. The Enquirer also reports that Miss Ryder, who owns a $3 million Beverly Hills mansion, currently sells her old clothes (like the gowns she wears to the Oscars) to a resale shop, Decades Two, who in turn, sells them on eBay. However, valiant attempts at Internet research on my part were unable to confirm this. Poor Winona. You can be sure she wishes she could just say, "Beetlejuice ... Beetlejuice ... Beetlejuice," and make it all go away.

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