Actor Taye Diggs has been the target of vicious hate mail because of his interracial marriage with Broadway star Idina Menzel.

The New York Police Department's Hate Crimes Unit is investigating the threatening letters and security has been heightened at the Gershwin Theater, where Menzel is currently starring in the musical WICKED and where two of the hate letters have reportedly been delivered.

Theatregoers' bags are being carefully searched, and five plainclothes guards are positioned outside the stage door.

A police source says a handwritten letter received on Wednesday (01DEC04) by JED BERNSTEIN, president of the LEAGUE OF AMERICAN THEATERS AND PRODUCERS, "threatens bodily harm to Taye Diggs".

One letter carries an Ohio postmark, another from Philadelphia and the third from New York. Authorities do not think the same person sent all three letters.

Diggs, 34, is currently filming a movie in Canada. He and Menzel, 33, were married in 2003, after having met when they were both appearing in the musical RENT.

07/12/2004 00:02