Actress Lucy Lawless, best-known for her title role in the fantasy TV series Xena: Warrior Princess, pleaded guilty Thursday to trespass charges for boarding an oil-drilling ship in an act of protest. The 44-year-old New Zealander and seven Greenpeace activists occupied the Noble Discoverer for three days in February to stop the ship from leaving New Zealand to search for oil in the Arctic. Lawless camped on and blogged from a 174-foot drilling derrick for 77 hours on the ship chartered by the Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell, reported the Los Angeles Times.
“For the first time in my life, I put my body and reputation on the line to stand up for my beliefs and do the right thing,” Lawless told the Associated Press after her appearance in a court in Auckland, New Zealand. “I hope I’ve encouraged other people to do the same.”
The demonstrators were initially charged with burglary but their charges were reduced to unlawfully boarding a ship. Trespassing carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail, but Lawless told reporters she expects to serve no prison time because she is a first-time offender. Sentencing is scheduled for September 14 and Lawless and the other activists plan to apply for a discharge without conviction, reported AFP. Lawless intends to stay involved with Greenpeace, but said she has “no plans to jump on an oil rig again any time soon.”