Former X Factor judge Tulisa‘s Hollywood career may be in jeopardy after she was banned from driving her £150,000 Ferrari for 15 months for drink driving.
The 27-year-old singer was given the driving ban for smashing into a Saab with two occupants outside Southgate tube station in September last year after drinking two glasses of wine.
At Highbury Corner Magistrates court this morning she admitted one count of drink driving shortly before midnight on September 10, in her Ferrari Spider VRM 50EF, which she had bought only a few days before.
The court heard she had 54 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 ML of breath, which is over the national limit of 35.
The prosecution announced a charge of dangerous drive had been dropped.
Contostavlos, of Enfield, North London, who gave her name as Tula in court, was ordered to pay a total of £1,185 in fines and legals costs and banned from driving for 15 months.
Before entering her plea, the star, wearing a dark blue suit and polo neck, wept as she gave her address in open court.
Prosecutor Tarika Jayaratne said: “On the 10th September shortly before midnight the defendant was driving her black Ferrari when she drove on the wrong side of the road colliding with another vehicle.
“There were two passengers in that vehicle and due to that collision the passenger side door was not able to be used. The passenger had to climb over to the driver’s side to exit the car.
The court heard she was arrested and taken to a police station where she provide two breathalyser samples with the lowest reading at 54 microgrammes.
Speaking for her defence, Kirsty Brimelow QC said it was a “minor collision, leaving minor damage and she had given a low reading for alcohol”.
She said: “She had had two glasses of wine and she genuinely felt that she wasn’t over the drink drive limit, which I would say is not an uncommon mistake to make.”
The court was also told she had put her career in the US on hold while she was waiting for court proceeding to finish.
Ms Brimelow said: “She is a talented, very talented young woman and she had been signed up by a Hollywood agent and intend to start an acting career.
“She has placed everything on hold, because of this. The conviction will cause her difficulties in the US”.
She told the court Contostavlos was “remorseful” and straight after the incident, asked if the people in the other vehicle if they were alright. The court heard they were not injured and drove their car home
She said the singer was held in a police cell for 22 hours and had waited nearly six months before she was charged.
The defence asked that she receive a conditional discharge instead of a ban from driving.
However, District Judge Jill Allison dismissed the request and banned her from driving.
She said: “This is a serious matter and where you were nearly one and a half times over the limit and I do not see it as a matter appropriate for a conditional discharge.”
Contostavlos, was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine, £85 costs and £100 victim surcharge, and banned from driving for 15 months.
After the accident Chris Renz, who runs a nearby security camera company, said he heard a loud bang before rushing to the scene and telling the former X Factor judge: “You could have killed someone!”
Mr Renz, 37, said: “I was walking round the corner when I heard this noise.
“I thought it was a motorbike because it was revving so loud.
“Then I heard a smash. I thought someone was dead because it was just like ‘bang’.
“I rushed round to see and I said ‘What the f*** are you doing? You could have killed someone.’
“When the Old Bill turned up they breathalysed her and she said ‘I’ve had one vodka.’ They breathalysed her and – bang – nicked her.
“Her boyfriend drove the car off. They didn’t even bother breathalysing him.”
According to Mr Renz, the 27-year-old former X-Factor judge had been driving a black Ferrari California with yellow callipers on its brakes when she hit a Saab.
He added that Tulisa did not seem drunk, but appeared to have raced to the top of a hill leading to the roundabout, judging by the sound of the revs he heard.
When asked if the singer appeared drunk, he said: “She looked a bit normal. I didn’t understand why she accelerated to the top for no reason.”
X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has sold the £150K Ferrari she was driving when she was involved in the smash which cost her licence.
The 27 year old singer broke down in Highbury Corner Magistrates when her defence counsel Kirsten Brimelow tired to have her full address of 20 Uplands Park Road, Enfield, withheld.
Ms Brimelow said: “There is a real risk if her address is reported that could cause people to go to the address who she’d not wish to have there.”
She told the court previous times she has been in court and given her address in court she had had to move.
The lawyer said: “Her safety is at risk when her address is made public.”
However, following representations from the press, District Judge Gill Allison (Correct) dismissed the application saying the threshold to move away from open justice principle had not been met.
Earlier Ms Brimelow said the Ferrari Spider (corr) has since been sold.
She said: “She has sold the car, she’s learnt her lesson.”