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Heard gets 18-month probation for harassing Melissa Leo


Actor John Heard will have 18 months of supervised probation and must attend a 22-week program for abusive men at the House of Ruth, Baltimore District Court Judge Barbara B. Waxman decided yesterday.

Heard, 51, best known for his role as the father in the "Home Alone" movies, was found guilty in March of trespassing and harassing his ex-girlfriend, "Homicide" actress Melissa Leo, with telephone calls. The charges resulted from a dispute between the two over Heard's visitation rights to their son, John Matthew, 9, who was placed in Leo's custody by a New York judge in 1994.

Heard did not speak during the hearing, but afterward was visibly upset with Waxman's decision.

"There's nothing you can say about this. I'm sorry for the decision, and I'm sorry for a lot of issues. But why this country hates fathers, I have no idea," Heard said outside the court.

Leo told the court the harassment had continued since the March verdict and that she considered Heard's behavior since then -- which included more than 100 telephone calls and his "lurking" around her neighborhood -- as "abusive."

Besides the probation, Heard will also have to strictly adhere to ,, the visitation agreement outlined in the original custody trial and continue psychiatric treatment, Waxman said. His attorney said he has been receiving psychiatric care.

Pub Date: 5/14/97

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