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Judge orders sound of silence from singer Paul Simon in court

By Richard Weizel

NORWALK Conn. (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning singer Paul Simon held hands with his wife, singer Edie Brickell, in court on Friday at a hearing in their disorderly conduct case stemming from a domestic dispute at their Connecticut home.

Two weeks before their 22nd wedding anniversary, Simon, 72, and Brickell, 48, made a brief appearance before Judge William Wenzel at Norwalk Superior Court, who denied their plea to keep cameras out of his courtroom but agreed to delay the proceeding until June 17.

Citing one of the couple's children - a 16-year-old son - defense attorney Andrew Bowman, who represents both singers, asked the judge to bar cameras from the hearing.

“Everyone who comes into this court is presumed innocent and our general policy is to allow open media access so I am overruling that request,” Wenzel said.

Simon, who stood holding hands with Brickell next to their lawyer at the podium facing the judge, began to speak to Wenzel, who interrupted him.

"Let your attorney speak," Wenzel said, silencing Simon.

"Is everything going OK?" the judge asked.

"Yes, your honor," Bowman said.

Earlier on Friday, as they waited to enter the courtroom, Brickell, wearing a dark jacket and pink pants, rested her head atop her husband's head. Simon, in a gray suit and red tie, wrapped his arm around her waist.

After the proceeding, they rushed from the courthouse, where

a guitar-carrying supporter held Simon and Garfunkel's 1966 album "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme," and got into an SUV that quickly drove off.

Disorderly conduct charges were filed against the pair, who were married on May 30, 1992, after New Canaan police were called to a cottage on their property in the wealthy Connecticut suburb on April 26.

Simon had attempted to leave the cottage, Brickell blocked the door and the incident escalated into a shoving match, their attorney said. Simon dialed 911 and hung up but later told police he made the call, according to a police report.

The singers called the incident completely out of character.

Simon was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 for his work as part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel, and is a member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, according to his website.

Brickell is best known for her 1988 hit song "What I Am," which was released by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. She won a Grammy this year with comedian Steve Martin for their bluegrass song "Love Has Come for You."

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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