A cab driver has dropped charges against the hemp-wearing former Cheers star, after the actor allegedly damaged a taxi and led authorities on a bizarro chase through the streets of London.
British tabloids reported Monday that Harrelson coughed up $800 to taxi driver Les Dartnell for damages to his cab, after he claimed the actor (and upcoming costar of, um, Anger Management) smashed a doorlock and ashtray while inside his vehicle. Harrelson, 40, was due in court today, but a Scotland Yard spokesman said the hearing was called off and no further action would be taken.
Dartnell told the Daily Star newspaper that Harrelson "offered to meet me face-to-face, but I wasn't interested in doing that after what happened."
So what exactly happened? The reason is unclear, but Dartnell claims the former White Man Can't Jump star behaved "like a caged animal" after the cabbie picked him up last month outside London's trendy Chinawhite nightclub.
The actor purportedly asked the driver for a lift back to his posh hotel in Knightsbridge. But after a few minutes on the road, Dartnell claimed Harrelson went berserk, trying to jump out of the moving vehicle while smashing around the interior.
"I turned around and he was kicking the inside of my taxi. He had suddenly gone completely bonkers," Dartnell told London's Sun newspaper. "He was kicking the glass and trying to get out. I tried to find a space to pull over but he had already yanked back the door handle and broken it."
After the taxi stopped, he said Harrelson managed to hop out and run down the street, reportedly knocking over some trash bins before flagging down another cab. Dartnell, meanwhile, called the cops for help and began giving chase himself.
"I stayed hot on the tail of the taxi and knew the police were on their way," Dartnell said.
The cabbie was soon joined in the pursuit by a police car, which, two miles later, pulled over the second taxi carrying Harrelson. But instead of giving up, Harrelson allegedly decided to make a run for it. A footrace purportedly ensued, with the cabbie and policeman joined by 14 other officers--who arrived on the scene in two vans and five police cars.
Eventually, Harrelson was tracked down and taken to a police station, where he spent the rest of the night in jail before posting bail and returning to the hotel to rejoin his wife, Laura, and two young daughters, Demi and Zoe.
Harrelson's publicist did not immediately return calls for comment on Monday's reported settlement.
With his sprint through London now behind him, Harrelson is presumably in good shape for his upcoming appearance on a West End stage. The activist-actor is currently rehearsing for On an Average Day, a new play in which he and Sex and the City's Kyle MacLachlan star as brothers. The play, written by American John Kolvenbach, debuts August 7 at the Comedy Theater.