George Clooney's sister-in-law jailed for drink driving

Tala Alamuddin Le Tallec, who has a past drink-driving conviction in Singapore, will also be disqualified from driving for four years after her release. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tala Alamuddin Le Tallec, who has a past drink-driving conviction in Singapore, will also be disqualified from driving for four years after her release. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

She gets 3 weeks' jail, $6.4k fine for offences that include using car without valid licence

Tala Alamuddin Le Tallec, the sister-in-law of Hollywood movie star George Clooney, was sentenced to three weeks' jail and given a fine of $6,400 for various traffic offences, including drink driving.

Le Tallec, 47, will also be disqualified from driving for four years after her release.

The Singapore permanent resident, who is the sister of human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, pleaded guilty yesterday to drink driving, using a car without a Singapore Class 3 driving licence, and driving without insurance.

A fourth charge of taking the vehicle, which belonged to Le Tallec's husband, without the owner's consent was taken into consideration. This carries a fine of up to $1,000 or jail term of up to three months.

If her husband had given her consent, he may also be liable for the offences as the owner of the vehicle under the Road Traffic Act.

The court heard that on the night of May 13 this year, Le Tallec drove her husband's BMW X5 to a restaurant in Dempsey Road, where she had two glasses of wine and a glass of champagne. While driving home with a friend, she was stopped at a police roadblock in Holland Road towards Ulu Pandan at around 2.30am.

When she stopped the car, Staff Sergeant (SSG) Alvin Lee noticed that Le Tallec appeared to have difficulty finding the car's handbrake.

He also noted that she smelled strongly of alcohol and could not answer his question promptly when he asked her where she had driven from, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Magdalene Huang.

Le Tallec also accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal while reaching for her bag in the rear passenger seat to retrieve her driving licence, and SSG Lee quickly alerted her to it, DPP Huang added.

Le Tallec subsequently failed a breathalyser test at the roadblock, and was arrested and taken to Central Police Division for a breath analysing device test at about 4.20am. It found that she had 95 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath - almost triple the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

 
 
 
 

This is her second drink-driving conviction in Singapore. Her first offence in 2013 saw her disqualified from driving for two years.

However, she did not reapply for a Class 3 driving licence in Singapore after that, said DPP Huang.

She also has other traffic-related offences, specifically for careless driving in 2010 and inconsiderate driving in 2004, the court heard.

For drink driving, DPP Huang urged District Judge Lorraine Ho to sentence Le Tallec to three weeks' jail and a fine of $5,000 and to disqualify her from driving for three years.

Calling for a deterrent sentence, DPP Huang said Le Tallec does not have a clean driving record. She also said Le Tallec's ability to drive had been impaired as she had difficulty finding the handbrake and had accidentally stepped on the accelerator while at the roadblock.

Le Tallec's lawyer Shashi Nathan said his client was "genuinely remorseful". He said the mother of four realised she had made a terrible mistake, and has been suffering the consequences from the "unwarranted publicity (of her case) for reasons beyond her control".

According to previous media reports, Le Tallec was an events planner before she started her own fashion line, Totally Tala. She lived in New York City before marrying a businessman based in Singapore, but reportedly remarried later to an Italian businessman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2019, with the headline 'Clooney's sister-in-law jailed for drink driving'. Print Edition | Subscribe