Ben Affleck arrest bid

by JAMES LANGTON, Evening Standard

An American court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Ben Affleck.

The actor has been accused of threatening a woman who claims to be his former girlfriend.

Tara Ray told a court that Affleck, 31, said he would kill her and had "communicated threats" on at least one occasion.

The allegations follow last month's cancellation of Affleck's wedding to Jennifer Lopez.

He was also accused of sleeping with a stripper shortly before he was due to marry the singer.

Ms Ray, 29, gave evidence in a special court hearing in her home state of North Carolina on Saturday.

A magistrate issued the warrant after listening to her sworn statements.

North Carolina police confirmed the warrant had been issued but refused to release a copy.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Everhart said the incidents were alleged to have taken place in the quiet town of Kure Beach on 25 September but would give no further details.

Police were, however, keen to stress that the warrant was the result of Ms Ray's private testimony rather than a police investigation into Affleck.

A spokesman said: "The warrant was taken out by a private citizen and only delivered to the police department."

It is not known whether there is any supporting evidence of Ms Ray's claims - or indeed whether she has ever had a relationship with the star.

It is thought likely that Affleck, who is believed to be with J-Lo, 33, at his weekend home in Georgia, will surrender to police at some point to respond formally to the allegations.

Little is known about Ms Ray. She is believed to have gone into hiding after her sworn evidence sparked intense interest from the US media. Since news of the case broke, there has been no-one at her North Carolina home.

There has so far been no comment from Affleck or his agent.

Whatever the truth, the epsiode marks another low point in what has been a turbulent few months for Affleck.

First, the National Enquirer

magazine ran a story alleging that he had been unfaithful to Lopez with a lap dancer.

Affleck denied the story and later said that his visit to the Vancouver strip club where the woman worked had been nothing more than an innocent "mini-bachelor party (stag night}" with friends, and that his future wife knew he was going.

But last month the couple suddenly cancelled their £2million wedding.

The official reason was pressure from excessive media interest but there were repeated suggestions that they had split, something they have since denied.

Affleck has also had to suffer the indignity of seeing Gigli, the film that brought the couple together, become one of the biggest flops of all time.

It dropped from all UK cinemas after a week.

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