Daniele Watts, a 28-year-old actress known for her role in Django Unchained and a USC alumna, was set to speak on a race, sexual expression and civil rights law panel at the Gould School of Law on Wednesday. School officials postponed the event after Watts was charged with lewd conduct on Tuesday.
An unidentified USC official told the Los Angeles Times that the event was postponed because far more people RSVP’d than there were seats available. She said that the Gould classroom could only accommodate 40 people. A new date has not yet been set for the panel. She also said that event was not postponed because of the charges recently filed against Watts.
USC invited Watts to speak on the panel months before she was arrested for alleged lewd misconduct.
On Sept. 11, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a 911 call that reported a couple having sex in a silver Mercedes-Benz in Studio City outside the CBS Studio. Watts and her boyfriend, Brian James Lucas, matched the descriptions, and Watts was handcuffed after refusing to produce her ID. She claimed that she had not been doing anything wrong, and after eventually showing her ID, she was released. LAPD first said that there was no evidence of a criminal act.
According to BBC News, Watts and Lucas insisted in interviews that there was no public obscenity, just public affection.
Watts claims that she was discriminated against because she is black and Lucas, her boyfriend, is white.
According to the L.A. Times, in a follow-up investigation, spokesman Lt. Andrew Neiman said that they had witnesses who would testify that there was indeed evidence of a criminal act. The couple is due in court on Nov. 13 on the charge of misdemeanor lewd conduct. If convicted, both Watts and Lucas could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.