DWI Charges Against Tenor Jerry Hadley Dropped

Classic Arts News   DWI Charges Against Tenor Jerry Hadley Dropped
Jerry Hadley has been exonerated of the driving-while-intoxicated charge for which he was arraigned on May 10 of last year. At the request of the District Attorney's office, all charges against the tenor were dropped on Tuesday (February 20) at the criminal courthouse in lower Manhattan.

According to a statement from his manager, despite the "sensational and sometimes salacious press attention which the incident received at the time of his arrest, Hadley has steadfastly maintained his innocence, an assertion which was ultimately confirmed after months of procedural appearances in court."

Hadley, 54, was arrested on Manhattan's Upper West Side last May after a woman reported seeing him in a drunken state before getting into a car. He was reportedly found at the wheel with the key in the ignition.

Prosecutors said at the time that the "intent" to drive was enough to warrant a DWI charge. Hadley's lawyer, Lou Freeman, defended his client on the grounds that Hadley never intended to drive because he knew he was too drunk to do so once he got behind the wheel.

"I am sorry," Hadley says, "that the whole thing ever happened. Unfortunately, the humiliating version of the events relayed to the public was a misrepresentation of what actually happened. In this instance, the news media seem to have been concerned more with sensationalism that accuracy. I look forward to renewing a friendly and constructive relationship with the press as we move forward.

"With this unfortunate incident behind me, I look forward to getting back to making music and to enjoying this wonderful life that God has given me."

The Illinois-born Hadley, who studied with Joan Sutherland, was on the roster for New York City Opera for many years and has also sung at the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

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