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Rhys Meyers Apologizes for Drunken Rage

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SHAWN POGATCHNIK | December 5, 2007 11:34 AM EST | AP

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DUBLIN, Ireland — Prosecutors dropped charges against Jonathan Rhys Meyers on Wednesday after he expressed remorse _ through his lawyer _ for being drunk and abusive at Dublin Airport.

Rhys Meyers, 30, was arrested Nov. 18. The Irish actor faced two charges of public drunkenness and breach of the peace for being abusive after he was refused permission to board a flight to London.

Rhys Meyers did not appear at the Dublin District Court arraignment Wednesday. State prosecutors said they had accepted an apology from the actor and dropped the charges.

Rhys Meyers, however, was given a legal caution _ a probationary action under which he could face harsher penalties if he behaves that way in public in Ireland again.

Rhys Meyers' lawyer, Michael Staines, said his client's behavior at the airport was "unacceptable and out of character." He said Rhys Meyers "unreservedly apologizes" to airport security guards, police and staff at the British airline BMI, and planned to make a donation to an unspecified charity as a way to acknowledge his wrongdoing.

Rhys Meyers is one of Ireland's best-known actors. His film credits include "Bend It Like Beckham," "Match Point," "Mission: Impossible III" and "August Rush."

He rose to fame in the U.S. with an award-winning portrayal of Elvis Presley in a 2005 television miniseries, and portrays King Henry VIII in the TV series "The Tudors," which is filmed in Ireland.

Rhys Meyers' arrest occurred six months after he checked out of an alcohol-rehabilitation clinic in California _ and just three days before the sudden death of his mother, Geraldine Meyers-O'Keeffe, at age 50.

The cause of her Nov. 21 death in Cork in southwest Ireland was not made public.