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Thursday, September 13, 2001

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. -- An entertainment industry publicist pleaded innocent Wednesday to 26 counts stemming from a crash outside a Hamptons nightclub that injured 16 people.

Elizabeth Grubman, whose clients have included Britney Spears, initially was accused of intentionally backing her vehicle into a crowd outside the Conscience Point Inn in Southampton, on eastern Long Island, on July 7. However, the grand jury declined to indict her on a charge of charge of intentional assault with depraved indifference.

She was allowed to remain free on $25,000 bail pending an Oct. 15 court appearance.

Grubman's attorney, Stephen Scaring, believes she will be acquitted.

Sixteen people suffered injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones.

The charges included second- and third-degree assault, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident -- all felonies -- and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor.

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