Screen star Richard Gere has been accused of upsetting two disabled teenagers at a charity dinner in Washington DC by refusing to meet them.

BRIAN GLASSMACHER, 15, and his 17-year-old sister KAILYN - both wheelchair-bound sufferers of a rare form of muscular dystrophy - were guests, with Gere, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in the capital on Saturday (31APR05).

But the pair have vowed to boycott any movie made by the 55-year-old actor, after he rejected their requests to pose for a photo with them.

Brian says, "I really liked Chicago and I wanted to meet him. I thought he would be a very nice person. But I thought he was very rude. I was very disappointed.

"My sister was also there, and she really loves all of his movies - even more than I do. She really wanted him to come to the table, but it was really disappointing."

When told about the Glassmachers, Gere is quoted as saying, "Maybe later. I'm hard of hearing and I have a bad hip. We all have problems."

After a third request, Gere finally posed for a picture with Glassmacher.

But the actor's spokesperson, ALAN NIEROB, rejects the accusations, insisting, "I'm sure Richard conducted himself as he always does - in the most gracious and respectable manner."

03/05/2005 14:03