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Singer Paul Simon, wife Edie Brickell face domestic violence charges

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Singer Paul Simon and his wife, singer Edie Brickell, face domestic violence charges.

Police in New Canaan said Simon, 72, and Brickell, 47, were charged with disorderly conduct after what police described as a “family dispute” on Saturday.

Simon and Brickell were released on promises to appear in court Monday in Norwalk. They arrived at court shortly before noon and smiled and held hands as they approached the courthouse.

Chief of Police Leon Krolikowski said police received a 911 hang-up call about 8:20 p.m. Saturday.

Police investigated and said Simon and Brickell were involved in a minor physical altercation. He said there were minor injuries, but declined to describe them. “There was aggressiveness on both sides,” Krolikowski said.

Krolikowski said Simon and Brickell are well-known in New Canaan and are “very nice people. They’re quiet and they keep to themselves … great people.”

Westport attorney Allan Cramer, who is representing both Simon and Brickell said the dispute was minor.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 1,” Cramer said outside court. He said there were “a couple pushes” but emphasized it was not a serious dispute.

“Under Connecticut law we’re obligated to make an arrest because it was domestic violence,” Krolikowski said. Neither Simon nor Brickell was taken into custody, but were issued misdemeanor summons to appear in court.

Both were cooperative with responding officers, he said.

“Before we left the scene we made assurances both were safe,” Krolikowski said. “One of the parties agreed to leave and did leave.” He declined to say where they lived.

“Frankly, they’re both victims,” he said. He declined to release details about the incident. Police also did not take mug shots of either since they were not taken into custody.

Cramer said they were both “lovely people who have done a lot of good things for the community” and he expected them both to return home together Monday.

He said the dispute happened in a cottage on their property.

Dressed in a grey suit, black leather shoes and green fedora, Simon strolled into Norwalk court for his afternoon arraignment.

He removed the hat when he took the witness stand and, holding Brickell’s hand, assured the judge the argument was “atypical.”

“Neither of us has any fear,” Simon said, adding that they planned to go watch their son’s baseball game later in the afternoon

“He’s no threat to me at all,” said Brickell, who is nearly a head taller. She sounded amused at the mere possibility.

Judge William J. Wenzel said he reviewed the police report and agreed there was “not a continuing threat of violence.” He decided not to issue a limited protective order, as family services officers had recommended.

Cramer objected to cameras capturing the hearing, but Wenzel denied the request and allowed photographers to take video and still photos.

Simon and Brickell’s cases were referred to the court system’s family relations diversionary program. If they successfully complete it, the charges would be dropped and their records erased.

Simon, when leaving court, strolled slowly and was unfazed by reporters’ questions.

“Edie and I are fine,” he said. “We’re going to watch our son’s ball game.

“That’s all I want to say, guys,” he said. “We’re fine. We love each other, we had an argument, that’s all.”

When asked if he planned on doing any more benefits for New Canaan police department, Simon smiled and said, “I did one last fall.”

The couple are due back in court May 16.

Simon and Brickell were married in 1992. Simon is half of the legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel, has won a dozen Grammy Awards, including three for album of the year, and was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also a Kennedy Center honoree and received the inaugural recipient in 2007 of the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Brickell is best known for her work with her band New Bohemians. Earlier this year, Brickell and comedian Steve Martin won a Grammy Award for best American roots song, “Love Has Come For You.”

 
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