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Unicef reviews Persbrandt role after cocaine bust

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Unicef reviews Persbrandt role after cocaine bust
09:37 CET+01:00
Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt, the star of the Oscar-winning film "In a Better World", could lose his role as an ambassador of the UN's children's fund Unicef after being caught using cocaine.

"We disapprove that he has taken drugs, and we intend to forward this opinion to him," said Ingeborg Ekblom at Unicef Sweden to the Aftonbladet daily.

Persbrandt was signed up as a Unicef ambassador in 2006 and has featured in several films promoting the organisation.

Following reports that the 47-year-old actor was arrested in January after having taken cocaine in a Stockholm nightspot, Unicef is reviewing whether Persbrandt is the right person to represent them, the newspaper reported.

"We discuss these things directly with our ambassadors," Ekblom said.

The actor at first denied taking the drug but after a urine test exposed traces of cocaine, he admitted to the offence and was subsequently fined 13,500 kronor ($2,150).

The 47-year-old claimed that it was the first time he had dabbled in the drug and said that he had hardly felt any effect.

Persbrandt, one of Sweden's most well-known stage and film actors, recently enjoyed international recognition when the Susanne Bier film "In a Better World" picked up the 2011 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film

The burly Swede stars as a doctor who divides his time between family life in Denmark and a turbulent life working in a refugee camp in east Africa.

Persbrandt's next major Hollywood project will be playing the role of Beorn in The Hobbit Parts 1 and 2, the prequels to the Lord of the Rings.

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