The former Magnum P.I. star Tom Selleck found himself in serious water with the city after being busted for diverting water to irrigate his avocado orchard while being observed by a private eye.
Selleck paid $22,000 for a private investigator and received no charges for actually using the water during a severe drought to water his avocado plantations, a fruit he claims makes him “gag.”
The ruggedly attractive celebrity got his big break playing the role of Thomas Magnum on Magnum P.I., where his portrayal of a former Navy SEAL turned private investigator garnered him a Primetime Emmy. He is liked by some for his beloved moustache.
The show’s eight-year run came to an end in 1988, and Selleck, now 78, was bound by a contract that banned him from acting in any other TV shows or movies. This explains why he turned down Harrison Ford’s offer to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The A-list actor later had appearances in movies like Quigley Down Under (1990), In & Out (1997), and the Three Men and a Baby series, in which he co-starred with Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson.
He rapidly gained a new following when he appeared on Friends as the frequently appearing Dr. Richard Burke, Monica’s considerably older love interest, played by Courtney Cox.
Later, he appeared in 19 episodes (from 2007 to 2008) of the TV series Las Vegas as the former marine who owned a hotel and casino.
Since 2010, Selleck has appeared in the television series Blue Bloods as the main character, NYC Commissioner Frank Reagan, a former marine.
The renowned actor, who from 1967 to 1973 served as a Sergeant in the National Guard, balances his demanding schedule by living with his family on an isolated avocado farm, which they relocated into in 1988 when he left Magnum P.I.
Selleck and his wife, Jillie Mack, whom he married in 1987, had their daughter Hannah in 1988 and he needed an escape from Hollywood.
“I quit Magnum to have a family,” he said in an interview. “It took a long time to get off the train, but I try very hard to have balance, and this ranch has helped me do that.”
I’m a fairly private guy, the star, who has made a fortune from playing legendary roles, declares. And I’ve always valued finding a balance between my career and family time. They are constantly the focus.
The Hidden Valley property, which spans 65 acres and was once owned by Den Martin, features a 1926 ranch house, a horse corral, and a 20-acre functioning avocado farm that he harvests in late spring.
The farm provides an abundance of seclusion and avocados for Selleck’s family, but it is also the cause of all of the actor’s controversy.According to CBC, “the district determined that several times from 2013 to 2015 a water-tender truck filled from a hydrant within the Calleguas district and delivered that water to Selleck’s ranch.”
This occurred during California’s four-year drought, which forced cities and municipalities to make mandatory water cuts.
According to a lawsuit against Selleck made by the Calleguas Municipal Water District, a hydrant in their area was used to bring water to his ranch in Hidden Valley, northwest of Los Angeles.
The metered hydrant, which is in Thousand Oaks and is a part of the Calleguas water district, was erected for usage at a construction site, according to Jay Spurgin, the city’s director of public works.
“Mr. Selleck previously paid for all the water that he utilized, which the Calleguas Municipal Water District acknowledged had not been stolen,” said Marty Singer, an attorney for Selleck, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.
Although it was unclear whether Selleck paid the construction business for the usage of the water, Susan Mulligan, general manager of the Calleguas water district, stated in a statement that it was a moot question.
“No one has a legal right to district water by simply paying a rate to another water user based on the volume of water questionably obtained,” Mulligan said.
As part of the settlement, Selleck consented to foot the nearly $22,000 price for a private investigator that a California agency hired to verify that water truckloads were being delivered to the actor’s ranch during an ongoing drought. Seldom does Selleck even enjoy avocados.
“I don’t eat ’em…Honestly, they make me gag. But it’s just as well. I’ll sell my portion,” he said.
Even though what he did was wrong, especially in the midst of a severe drought, we believe that Tom Selleck deserves a pass if his largest controversy is water theft.