"Sex" Star Busted

Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon arrested for protesting budget cuts outside New York City Hall

By Josh Grossberg May 16, 2002 5:45 PMTags
Looks like the Big Apple is reading Cynthia Nixon her Miranda rights.

The Sex and the City star was arrested outside New York City Hall Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct for protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to slash funding for city schools.

Nixon, 36, the sparkly redhead who plays practical attorney and single mom Miranda Hobbes on the HBO series, ignored police orders to stop blocking the sidewalk and, along with 11 other protesters, was taken into custody peacefully.

"[The arrests] were pre-arranged. The police were very respectful," Nixon tells E! Online. "We were handcuffed, put in a paddy wagon and were taken down to a station."

She was subsequently released after being issued a summons to appear in court on June 19.

Nixon, whose five-year-old daughter, Samantha Mozes, attends public school in Manhattan's Upper West Side, decided to take to the pickets after Bloomberg proposed cutting about $350 million from city schools this year to close the gap on a $5 billion budget deficit. She says she saw first-hand the results of the cuts.

"My daughter's school was affected very directly. [Last year] we lost an associated principal, an art teacher and three aides. When I arrived for the first day of kindergarten I expected to find a classroom of 23 kids with a teacher and an assistant and, lo and behold, there was no assistant teacher," Nixon says. "And it particluarly affects recess. We now have a lunchtime of 618 kids supervised by three adults."

After witnessing what happened at her daughter's school, Nixon teamed up with a statewide public-education initiative called the Alliance for Quality Education, to push for more school funding.

"We're all pretty angry," Nixon says.

So the actress joined 75 other concerned parents and advocates of public education for a sit-in, blocking traffic in front of city hall while urging the Mayor to raise taxes and reinstate more than $1 billion in funds for the city's board of education this year.

They also joined for a rendition of "We Shall Not Be Moved." That came shortly before the police moved them.

But Nixon's efforts might not be for naught. Bloomberg recently told several state representatives that he'll more than likely nix the proposed cuts.

HBO confirmed Nixon was back on the Sex and the City set a day after her arrest.

The fifth season of HBO's Emmy-winning hit comedy was originally supposed to debut in June, but was postponed until July after producers shut down production to figure out what to do with star Sarah Jessica Parker's real-life pregnancy. The show resumed shooting last week after the show's brain trust decided against doing a Carrie-is-preggers storyline.