Saturday June 16, 2012

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- "Xena: Warrior Princess" actress Lucy Lawless says she has "no regrets" about boarding and preventing an oil-drilling ship from leaving a New Zealand dock, a protest action that saw her plead guilty on Thursday to trespass charges.

"For the first time in my life, I put my body and reputation on the line to stand up for my beliefs and do the right thing," she said in an interview with The Associated Press after her appearance in court. "I hope I’ve encouraged other people to do the same."

In February, the 44-year-old native New Zealander and six other Greenpeace activists climbed a drilling tower on the vessel Noble Discoverer, which was docked in New Zealand bound for the Arctic, to protest oil exploration in the Arctic. Lawless spent four days atop the 174-foot tower, blogging about her experiences.

She and seven other Green peace activists pleaded guilty at Auckland District Court to charges of unlawfully being on a ship. She is due to be sentenced in September and faces a maximum three years in jail after prosecutors reduced a more serious charge of burglary.

Lawless said she doesn’t expect to receive a jail sentence for her actions because she is a first-time offender and the protest was peaceful.


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