Election Section

Actress testifies against ex-boyfriend in criminal case

The Associated Press
Saturday July 13, 2002

LOS ANGELES — Former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith testified against her ex-boyfriend at a preliminary hearing, alleging that he called her repeatedly and assaulted her neighbor after she broke up with him. 

Smith appeared in court Thursday at a hearing for Mark Hatten, 34, of Los Angeles, who faces charges of battery, assault with a deadly weapon, terrorist threats and stalking. 

Hatten, who has no prior criminal record, was ordered to stand trial and return to court July 25. He remains in jail on $300,000 bail. 

If convicted, Hatten could face up to eight years in prison. 

Smith, 34, said she met Hatten shortly before the Academy Awards two years ago and the pair began dating soon after. 

The relationship ended in June 2000 after he approached her with a knife in her home, Smith said. She never reported the incident to police. 

After the breakup, Hatten continued to call her, leaving messages on her home and cell phones. 

Smith claims that Hatten called earlier this year and said he was coming over with a gun. 

“I was holding my (16-year-old) son and we were just freaking out,” Smith said. 

Neighbor Rene Navarro went over to Smith’s house to persuade Hatten to leave but was allegedly punched and kicked by the defendant. 

Navarro, who wore a cast on his left arm, said he had to have surgery on hand ligaments that were torn when he tried to block Hatten’s blows. 

Defense attorney Peter Knecht said Smith had a sporadic, two-year sexual relationship with Hatten and believes the actress brought charges against his client to “silence him.” 

Smith recently announced she will have her own reality TV show that will air on E! Entertainment. In March, she won an $88 million judgment over the estate of her elderly husband, J. Howard Marshall, who died in 1995.