By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took a break from the campaign trial on Monday as he reported for jury duty in New York.
Trump, the front-runner in a crowded Republican field, appeared in Manhattan Supreme Court to join fellow New Yorkers to possibly be selected to cast a verdict in a trial.
Arriving in a black limo, Trump, 69, was greeted by a throng of reporters and television crews numbering around 100 people. He signed an autograph on way in and fist-bumped a supporter before heading into the courthouse.
The real estate mogul’s service came after a state judge in March fined him $250 for failing to respond to summonses to serve jury duty five times since 2006.
Trump’s representatives say the fine was ultimately waived and say the prior summonses had been sent to a wrong address for the former star of NBC’s “The Apprentice.”
Michael Cohen, an executive vice president and special counsel to the Trump Organization, said if Trump had received the notices, he would have complied.
“Any assertion that Mr. Trump doesn’t take his civic responsibilities seriously is absolutely false and only being used as an attempt to discredit his stellar reputation,” he said in a statement.
Trump joins a long list of celebrities to report for jury duty in the New York courts in recent years, following Madonna, Caroline Kennedy and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Outside of New York, former President George W. Bush earlier this month was passed over for a breach-of-contract trial in Dallas state court.
In April, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts appeared for jury duty at his local courthouse in Maryland but was not picked to serve in a trial.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures after arriving for jury duty at Manhattan Supreme Court in New York August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson