Halle Berry is pressing ahead with her plans to play infamous jewel thief Doris Payne, despite the fact the 79-year-old has been arrested for attempting to steal a coat from a department store. Payne was arrested as she tried to leave a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Costa Mesa, California in January without paying for a $1,300 Burberry trench coat. Payne was on parole for past thefts when she was caught.
Berry will portray the career thief, who has robbed gem stores around the world, in new biopic "Who Is Doris Payne?". The Oscar winner has been working on the project for over two years with former "Malcolm in the Middle" star Justin Berfield, who secured the rights to Payne's life story after meeting her in jail in 2006.
Payne, who is known as The Grandmother Thief, has spent much of her adult life pulling off some of the biggest gem heists around the globe. Producer Berfield tells WENN, "We were stunned and saddened to hear of Ms. Payne's arrest on January 27th in Orange County."
"It has always been the intention of the producers, writer and rest of the film's creative team to chronicle Doris Payne's journey and career accurately, or as accurately as one can without having lived it ourselves. We are currently re-evaluating the script and determining the best filmmaker to work with Halle Berry in bringing Ms. Payne's story to the screen."