Reporter Nabbed For Affleck Estate Trespass

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Reporter Nabbed For Affleck Estate Trespass

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SEPTEMBER 17--A People magazine correspondent was arrested Sunday and charged with criminal trespass after sheriff's deputies found his car stuck in the mud on a private road near actor Ben Affleck's 83-acre Georgia estate.

The reporter, Don Sider, was booked briefly into the Liberty County jail and hit with a misdemeanor count.

While Affleck and Jennifer Lopez revealed last Wednesday that their Santa Barbara wedding was off, journalists have continued to prowl about the couple's various residences--including the Georgia compound, located about 35 miles south of Savannah--in case the nuptials were rescheduled or the pair's cancellation announcement was a ruse.

According to an incident report, Sider, 70, told a sheriff's deputy that he was a People reporter and acknowledged seeing the "no trespassing signs and locked gates" at Hampton Island, the private, 2300-acre property on which Affleck's spread is located (the Liberty County Sheriff's Department was alerted to the veteran journalist's presence by a Hampton Island caretaker).

Sider entered the site via one of the property's two private gates, which had been opened by a worker putting gravel on the driveway.

Sider, who has worked since 1989 as a part-time correspondent out of People's Miami bureau, declined to talk about the September 14 incident: "As the lawyers say, I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation." (2 pages)