April 9, 1947
Deputy Sheriffs today broke up a rehearsal in a Vine Street radio studio in order to charge bobby-soxer dreamboat Frank Sinatra with a misdemeanor battery charge, incurred Tuesday night outside Sunset Strip hotspot Ciro's. New York Daily Mirror columnist Lee Mortimer claims someone sucker-punched him, and Sinatra then beat the 42-year-old writer while goons held him down. This effectively broke up Mortimer's working date with Miss Kay Kino, Chinese songbird whom Mortimer was grooming for a role in a show he'd written for New York's China Doll Cafe.
Sinatra initially admitted involvement in the fracas, noting "For two years he has been needling me. He called me a dago --------. I saw red. He gave me a look. I can't describe it. It was one of those 'Who do you amount to?' looks. I followed him outside. I hit him. I'm all mixed up." Later, through his attorney, Albert Pearlson, the story became one of an unprovoked name calling and physical attack from Mortimer--who has written searing columns on the singer's relationship with gangster Lucky Luciano--on the sheepish Sinatra.
Judge Bert P. Woodward set bail at $500 and trial for May 28. Sinatra pled not guilty, and hopped a flight to NY to receive the Thomas Jefferson Award from the Council Against Intollerance in America.