Prior drug use evidence ruled admissible in Nick Nolte suit

Wednesday, December 7th 2005, 10:44 am
By: News On 6

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ A lawsuit by parents of a teenager who says she was raped during a party at Nick Nolte's home can include evidence of previous drug and alcohol use by the actor and his son, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Nolte's publicist has said the actor was not home during the party. However, the lawsuit claims he was negligent, contending that the home had ``a long history of furnishing drugs and/or alcohol to minors.''

The suit states the girl, then 15, was given the date-rape drug GHB and sexually assaulted at a party on January 25, 2003.

Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg said prior behavior is ``certainly relevant'' to the case. He denied a motion by defense attorneys to limit questioning of witnesses to what happened the night of the party.

A motion by attorneys for Nolte and his son argued that broader questioning was irrelevant to the case and would cause ``unwarranted annoyance and embarrassment.'' Nolte's son, who was a minor at the time of the incident, was not named in the suit.

An after-hours call seeking comment from Nolte's attorney Tuesday night was not immediately returned.

A defendant in the lawsuit, Nicholas Woodring, was convicted last year of having sex with a minor.