A former Hollywood socialite who once dated star Kevin Costner went berserk and kicked a female police officer’s leg as they tried to stop her from drunkenly vandalizing her home.
San Francisco native Birgit Cunningham, 60, who dated Costner for three years, lashed out at her London flat while shouting “b******” at officers.
Mrs Cunningham, who claimed she had an affair with married Tory Peer Lord Strathclyde, had once been a doyen of the champagne-drinking Hollywood Brit Pack.
Its old The Sunset Strip residence – owned by film producer Julia Verdin – was nicknamed ‘Party Central’ and regulars included Robert De Niro; John Hurt and Jack Nicholson.
But yesterday she found herself a world away from the home she once shared with actress Elizabeth Hurley, when she was dragged into the imposing walls of Westminster Magistrates Court.
Birgit Cunningham (pictured outside Westminster Magistrates Court) admitted assaulting a police officer in her London flat in July this year
Ms Cunningham dated Hollywood actor Kevin Costner for three years (pictured: the pair together in Los Angeles)
Mrs Cunningham pictured in France in 2000. She has pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Alin Garbuja after officers were called to her home to drunkenly vandalize her home.
On Tuesday, Ms Cunningham pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Alin Garbuja on July 11 this year, following drunken rows in her council flat.
She was conditionally discharged for eighteen months and ordered to pay compensation of £150 to the officer.
Prosecutor Alza Rashed told the court that officers attended her speech in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at around 9.30pm.
‘The police were called by neighbors to report that this defendant had destroyed items in her building.
‘They said she was upset because she had just put her cat to sleep on the advice of her vet.
‘The officers noted that she was noticeably drunk at the time and repeatedly called them ‘b*******’ as she faced PC Garbuja, who asked her to turn away.
‘The officer described the defendant as ‘aggressive’ and ‘in her face’, and kicked her in the leg before immediately being handcuffed.
“It was a kick with significant force to the officer and she also attempted to strike the officer during the struggle,” the prosecutor explained.
“The officer says she received scratches on her right hand and groaned in pain when contact was made with her body.”
In her victim impact statement, PC Alin Garbuja said: ‘As a police officer I expect negative behaviour, but being kicked went too far while I was trying to help the individual.’
Cunningham’s lawyer Stuart McDonald told the court that health and medication problems contributed to the incident.
‘She has chronic back problems, degenerative disc disease and her GP tried to change her medication regimen and the medicine she relied on, almost to the point of addiction, was taken away from her.
‘She has had a long-term problem with alcohol addiction and lived what can be described as a glamorous and exciting lifestyle in her youth and turned to alcohol for relief.’
In 2000, Mrs Cunningham was a rural campaigner and turned up covered in fake blood and handcuffed to the fence at the bottom of Downing Street.
In 2006, former “It girl” Ms. Cunningham walked out of court after admitting to kneeing her ex-lover in the groin during a courtroom brawl
Meanwhile, magistrates did not accept the police account of the attack and agreed there was no need for a probation service report.
“We do not agree that this was substantial violence or that it was over an extended period of time,” bank chairman Jeffrey Manton announced.
Privately educated Cunningham, who attended the exclusive £13,000-a-year Roedean girls’ school, is the daughter of a former Bank of America treasurer.
She grew up in a sprawling country house in Leatherhead, Surrey, and spent her summer holidays in luxury rental properties in the south of France.
Clothes were bought at Harrods and Cunningham has previously spoken of being driven to parties in a Bentley and living in a £1million Chelsea flat bought by her wealthy father.
She studied art at Rutgers College, New Jersey, worked in a Paris gallery and then worked as a PA to the vice president of Universal Pictures.
Problems with alcohol ended Cunnigham’s Hollywood adventure and she returned to London, where she delved into green issues and gave birth to son Jack, 23, in 2000 after dating old Etonian driver Sir Harry Nuttall.
She then became a campaigner for single mothers as she pursued Sir Harry for child support – which resulted in an arrest for assault during a courtroom scuffle.
Mr McDonald added: “She is rejecting the structured treatment of an alcohol treatment requirement from the court because she is doing it herself.
“I don’t want to minimize what the officer said, but this offense has all the hallmarks of a lesser culpability.
‘The officer says, “At one point she kicked me in what I think was my leg.” This is a small or non-existent force.”
The lawyer asked for leniency based on: ‘Her age, remorse in the interview and addressing the underlying cause of this. She receives benefits from the state.’
Cunnigham’s last criminal conviction was in 2013, but no details were given.
“You’ve pleaded guilty so that brings it down and we noted your record and you’re pretty much of good character,” Mr Manton told Cunningham, who came to court with the aid of a cane.
‘We are going outside the guidelines because you are already seeking help and should continue with Alcoholics Anonymous and their twelve-step program.
‘There is no point in submitting to an alcohol program because you are already doing it yourself.
‘If you do not make these payments, the collection agency will come to your door. In the kindest way possible, we hope never to see your face again.”