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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
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Bakery Goes After ‘Beasts of Southern Wild’ Actor

(CN) - The New Orleans baker whom "Beasts of the Southern Wild" propelled to stardom faces a demand for a restraining order from the cafe in Treme he opened.

Before starring as Hushpuppy's father, Wink, in the Academy Award-nominated 2012 film "Beasts of the Southern Wild," Dwight Henry had owned and was head baker of the Buttermilk Drop Cafe and Bakery on North Dorgenois Street.

The bakery and its manager, Darrius Henry, sued the actor for a restraining order, damages and an injunction on Thanksgiving Eve. Though the plaintiff and defendant share a last name, they are not apparently related. This article refers to each by their first names to avoid confusion.

Hours before Darrius filed the complaint, the actor Dwight allegedly broke into the Buttermilk café and threatened Darrius.

The manager says this was the second such occurrence.

Though the actor Dwight last worked for the bakery two years ago, he illegally entered the bakery on Oct. 30, 2014, and illegally removed funds from the bakery's cash register, according to the complaint.

Darrius, the bakery manager, says the actor threatened to harm Darrius and Darrius' family.

After Darrius filed a police report and an arrest warrant was issued, the actor Dwight turned himself in and was later released, according to the complaint.

The Nov. 26 scuffle occurred at the bakery as well when Dwight "forced his way through a service window and again threatened to cause bodily harm to Darrius Henry," the complaint states.

Darrius says he "is in fear for his life and the safety of his family" because he has learned that Dwight has an "extensive criminal history."

The complaint says Dwight's "theft" caused a loss of revenue and that his threats reduced business.

Darrius and the bakery are represented by Wayne Woods with Woods, Bowers & Woods.

The complaint says Dwight can be served at either an address on DeMontluzin Street in New Orleans or at Wink's Bakery, the actor's latest bakery business on Decatur Street in the Central District.

The Buttermilk Bakery's website notes that Dwight no longer has any affiliation with it, at either the North Dorgenois or Elysian Fields locations.

A Nov. 20 article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on the alleged Oct. 30 break-in at the Buttermilk Drop says 51-year-old Dwight "was booked with one count of theft between $500 and $1,499."

"He is accused of stealing approximately $1,000 from the cash register of his former employer, the Buttermilk Drop Bakery at 1781 N. Dorgenois St.," the article states. "According to an arrest warrant obtained Nov. 12, two witnesses reported [Dwight] Henry stuffing the cash in his pockets before leaving the business where he served as head baker until 2012."

The Times-Picayune said Dwight "was freed from jail within hours" after turning himself into police on the morning of Nov. 20.

Criminal District Court Judge Frank Marullo reportedly ordered the actor released on his own recognizance, and the next hearing in the case is set for Jan. 19.

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" was the first role for both Dwight Henry and his onscreen daughter, Quvenzhane Wallis.

Dwight has since played the character Uncle Abram in "12 Years a Slave," and will star as the father of Marvin Gaye in the upcoming film "Sexual Healing." Jesse L. Martin, of "Rent" and "Law and Order" fame, plays the singer.

In addition to Wink's Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Bistro in the French Quarter, Dwight reportedly has plans to open a bakery in New York City.

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