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Stacy Keach To Be Released From Prison

June 6, 1985 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Stacy Keach will be released Friday from Reading Prison, where he served six months for trying to smuggle cocaine into England.

The actor, who starred in the TV series ″Mickey Spillaine’s Mike Hammer,″ got the standard one-third off his sentence for good behavior, said his publicist, David Gerrie.

The prison is 50 miles southwest of London. Garrie said Keach will make a brief statement to reporters before driving to Heathrow Airport and flying to New York on a supersonic Concorde.

Keach has said he will resume his acting career chastened by the public humiliation of his arrest, by the time he has spent behind bars and by the ordeal of his fight to kick a drug habit.

″Let there be no illusions about cocaine,″ Keach wrote in a letter to London’s Daily Express midway through his sentence. ″I speak as a once- devoted addict. ... Cocaine is a diabolically destructive force which can ultimately ruin not only your physical and mental health but also your career and personal relationships as well.″

Keach, 44, was arrested at Heathrow on April 4, 1984, carrying 1.3 ounces of cocaine concealed in an aerosol shaving cream can and elsewhere in his luggage. Also arrested was his secretary, Deborah Steele, 41, who had a small quantity in her jeans pocket.

At his trial last December, Keach told a judge he had been addicted to cocaine since January of last year, using the drug ″as a means of trying to alleviate exhaustion.″ He insisted he had been ″clean″ since his arrest.

But the judge turned down his appeal for leniency and sentenced Keach to nine months in prison. Ms. Steele was sentenced to three months, but on appeal was given a suspended sentence and released from prison.

In the minimum-security prison, Keach has written a book, with the working title ″Christmas with Her Majesty,″ and is currently looking for a publisher, Gerrie said.

He also has been making plans to marry Polish-born actress Malgosia Tomassi, 28, after his divorce from actress Jill Donohue becomes final.

Miss Tomassi visited Keach last Sunday on the eve of his birthday and emerged to say, ″Stacy’s fantastic - he’s OK. He has had some presents but his greatest gift will be his freedom this week.″