Ex-UCLA Researcher Sentenced To Prison For Reading Celebrity Medical Records

Drew Barrymore accepts the 2010 Vanguard Award onstage at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California on April 17, 2010 Drew Barrymore accepts the 2010 Vanguard Award onstage at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards held at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California on April 17, 2010

A former UCLA School of Medicine researcher has been sentenced to four months in federal prison after reading the confidential medical files of celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Hanks.

Huping Zhou also was fined $2,000 at his sentencing Tuesday. He pleaded guilty in January to four misdemeanor counts of privacy violations.

Prosecutors claimed that before and after his 2003 firing, Zhou accessed private records of celebrities and co-workers more than 300 times.

Court filings said the breaches also involved the records of Sharon Osbourne, Barbara Walters, Elizabeth Banks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Anne Rice.

Authorities say Zhou didn’t try to sell the information. His attorney Edward Robinson says the Chinese immigrant didn’t know it was a federal crime.

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