Girlfriend of Australian Hollywood star Sam Worthington narrowly avoids jail

Lara Bingle, the model girlfriend of Australian Hollywood star Sam Worthington, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Tuesday for driving offences and was warned she is not above the law. -- PHOTO: AFP
Lara Bingle, the model girlfriend of Australian Hollywood star Sam Worthington, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Tuesday for driving offences and was warned she is not above the law. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Lara Bingle, the model girlfriend of Australian Hollywood star Sam Worthington, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Tuesday for driving offences and was warned she is not above the law.

Bingle, 26, was fined A$2,000 (S$2,345) with a six-month suspended sentence at a Sydney court after pleading guilty to two charges of driving on a cancelled licence.

The model, who previously dated Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke, was also banned from driving for two years.

"These laws apply to everyone in the community in exactly the same way. They are not there to be annoying," magistrate Claire Farnan told Bingle, describing her driving record as "very poor".

Her lawyer said his client was unaware her licence was cancelled when she was pulled over by police in September 2012. She was also stopped in October and November last year for driving without a licence.

"My client is somewhat unworldly when it comes to administrative things because a lot of it has been done for her," her lawyer Michael Ainsworth said.

Bingle has relocated to New York since hooking up with "Avatar" star Worthington last year.

Worthington, 37, was involved in a scuffle in the city with a celebrity photographer in February. The actor, who is currently filming "Cake" alongside Jennifer Aniston, told US police he was "just protecting my girlfriend" when he was arrested for allegedly punching the man.

The assault charges were reportedly dismissed by a Manhattan court.