NEW YORK (Reuters) - American actress Amanda Bynes appeared in court on Friday and denied charges of possessing marijuana and tossing a bong out of the window of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment.
The former Nickelodeon child star, who appeared in court dressed in gray sweatpants, a long-sleeved black shirt and a disheveled platinum blonde wig, was released on her own recognizance after spending a night in jail after her arrest on Thursday.
She was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, reckless endangerment and attempted tampering with physical evidence, according to court documents. All the alleged offenses are classified as misdemeanors rather than felonies.
Her attorney at the hearing denied the charges and accused police of entering the actress’ apartment illegally.
“Clearly a search was made for the bong and nothing was recovered,” attorney Andrew Friedman told the court. “My client completely denies ever having thrown anything out the window. She was followed illegally into her apartment for no reason.”
The actress, 27, who has had several brushes with the law in the past year and is on probation for driving on a suspended license in California, was ordered to return to court on July 9.
Bynes said, “Thank you, sir,” to the judge before leaving court and entering a taxi cab, flanked by paparazzi.
New York police were called to Bynes’ 47th Street midtown high-rise building after an employee there reported that someone was smoking marijuana in the building’s lobby.
Police said they were then directed to Bynes’ apartment, where the actress invited them in.
Officers said they detected a strong smell of marijuana in the apartment and observed the bong - a tube-shaped water pipe commonly used for smoking marijuana - in the apartment.
Bynes then grabbed the bong and threw it out the window and the actress was taken into custody, police said.
Bynes, who had her own TV comedy sketch show on Nickelodeon at the age of 13, has gained a strong Internet following for her recent bizarre behavior and statements on her Twitter social media account.
The actress has not appeared in a film since 2010’s “Easy A” and has appeared in court over a slew of driving violations in the past year, including drunk driving, and hit and run.
Additional reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by David Brunnstrom