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Aussie ‘Girls Gone Wild’ Exec Surrenders in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Ryan Bowman turned himself into authorities Thursday afternoon; bail set at $2 million

Aussie ‘Girls Gone Wild’ Exec Surrenders in Fatal Hit-and-Run

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—An Australian national who owns Zeal Entertainment, a company that runs the Down Under version of “Girls Gone Wild,” has been arrested in the hit-and-run accident that killed 21-year-old Lauren Ann Freeman Wednesday night in West Hollywood. Ryan Bowman, 34, surrendered to sheriff's deputies at the West Hollywood station late Thursday afternoon.

The horrific accident occurred shortly before midnight as Freeman, a fashion design graduate who had just left a concert at the Roxy, was in the crosswalk attempting to cross Sunset Boulevard at Hammond Street. According to the Los Angeles Times, she was thrown about 50 feet by the impact of the dark-colored Bentley driven by Bowman. Other news reports indicate that hundreds of people were in the immediate vicinity of the collision.

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“Sheriff's investigators said Bowman fled in the car, and that debris found at the scene suggested that the vehicle could have been a dark-colored Bentley,” reported the Times. “They later found such a vehicle abandoned in a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Melrose Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard, about 1 1/2 miles from the incident.”

Thursday, Bowman’s attorney contacted the authorities, and at about 4:15 p.m. Bowman walked into the West Hollywood station and surrendered himself to authorities.

"He invoked his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and we booked him on [charges of] vehicular manslaughter," sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told KTLA.com, adding that alcohol "most likely played a role in this tragic event."

Bowman is the founder and CEO of Sydney-based Zeal Entertainment, a digital media production and distribution company founded in 2006, with offices in Paris, Singapore, Australia and West Hollywood, near the scene of the fatal hit-and-run.

According to the Times, Zeal "owns the rights to ‘Girls Gone Wild’ for Australia and worldwide rights for the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ mobile application outside the United States." According to his LinkedIn profile, Bowman worked previously at Mobile365 and iTouch.

Bail for Bowman was originally set at $100,000, but has since reportedly been raised to $2 million, and his passport was confiscated. He is scheduled to appear in Beverly Hills Minucipal Court Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m.






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