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New York judge resigns after homophobic comments about Hollywood actor

New York judge resigns after homophobic comments about Hollywood actor

A courtroom

A judge in New York is resigning at the end of the year after allegedly making homophobic remarks regarding Hollywood actor Viggo Mortensen.

John W. Hallett is a justice in LeRay, a town in Jefferson County.

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct filed a formal complaint against Hallett over a January 2017 incident. During the incident, Hallett was speaking to an attorney in the Jefferson County Complex.

The attorney was promoting a film festival honoring Mortensen, when Hallett reportedly said to him: ‘You and Viggo Mortensen should get a hotel room and suck each other’s [expletive].’

According to the complaint, months later Hallet made hand gestures alluding to oral sex towards the same attorney.

Hallet’s term was supposed to expire after 2019. Now, however, his resignation will take place at the end of this year. He also agreed never to serve in another judicial capacity, prompting the commission to drop the formal charges.

Viggo Mortensen (left) in Green Book
Mortensen (left) in Green Book | Photo: IMDB/Universal

No place here

Robert H Tembeckjian, the commission’s administrator, said in a statement: ‘Homophobic remarks and anti-LGBTQ sentiments have no place in the lexicon of the courts or the vocabulary of a judge.

‘Such statements undermine public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, which demands that a judge be and appear fair-minded and unprejudiced toward all who have business in the courts.’

Mortensen is currently promoting his film Green Book, in which he plays an Italian-American driver for a black pianist (Mahershala Ali) in the 1960s South.

He has received several nominations for his performance, including a Golden Globe and Critics Choice nod. The role also won him awards at film festivals throughout the year.

Mortensen’s most famous role is Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has been nominated for two Oscars — one in 2008 for Eastern Promises, and the other last year for Captain Fantastic.

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