Richard Gere Kills Trees, Infuriates Neighbors

Actor Richard Gere has starred in "Chicago," "Runaway Bride," and last October, in "Amelia," alongside Hilary Swank. But his latest roll? 'Tree-killer,' according to angry neighbors in Bedford, N.Y., where Gere and his wife, Carey Lowell, own a 14-acre property.

This morning, The New York Post reported that Gere felled up to 200 trees on his property, without a permit, to make room for a horse paddock (the actor is a passionate equestrian).

Rather than seeking the proper channels and permits, he hired someone to cut them down," R.J.Marx, editor of the Record-Review, a local paper, told The New York Post. "He's generally a good neighbor. It was out of character."

Gere and Lowell restored an old farmhouse on their property and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast called the Bedford Post. In addition to the inn, which opened last July, the establishment boasts a yoga studio and a restaurant recently hailed by Esquire magazine as one of the best new restaurants of 2009.

But that was no comfort to rankled residents. "This is a town where money isn't an issue. What matters are good manners and caring about the community," another local told The Post. "I'm not sure what he was thinking."

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