Russell Brand Won’t Face Charges In Airport Spat
City prosecutors are unlikely to file charges against Russell Brand over a spat with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport, an official said Thursday.
The British actor-comedian met Wednesday with prosecutors, who decided not to pursue charges, city attorney’s spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
Brand was arrested at the airport in September while traveling with singer Katy Perry, and had been facing a potential charge of misdemeanor simple battery.
The incident was captured on video while Brand and Perry were swarmed by paparazzi as they entered a Delta Air Lines terminal. On the video, Brand is seen swatting at a photographer and hitting his camera.
Brand, 35, and Perry, 26, married at a lavish ceremony in India last month.
A security detail traveling with Brand was accused of roughing up four photographers, including one for The Associated Press, during an outing at a wild tiger reserve in India the day before the couple’s wedding. Two men from the wedding party later apologized for the incident, which involved taking the photographers’ car keys and stranding them in the tiger reserve.
Because of the apology, no formal police investigation was opened. None of the photographers sought medical care.
Mateljan said a prosecutor would meet with the photographer involved in the LAX incident on Friday. The photographer, whose name was not released, had placed Brand under a citizen’s arrest.
Mateljan said that while the office could still file a case against Brand, “it doesn’t seem likely.”
The decision was first reported by celebrity website RadarOnline.
Brand was a relative unknown in the United States until he hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008. He has since reprised that gig, and he appeared in the film “Get Him to the Greek” this summer. He is slated to play the title character in a remake of “Arthur.”
Brand’s profile has also been raised by his relationship with Perry, who has several hits including “I Kissed a Girl” and “California Gurls.”
LAX has been the site of several dustups between celebrities and the paparazzi. City prosecutors charged Kanye West with misdemeanor battery, vandalism and grand theft for breaking a photographer’s flash in September 2008, but the case was later dismissed after the rapper reached a civil settlement and attended anger management classes.
Prosecutors declined to charge former boxer Mike Tyson after his arrest at the airport in November 2009 for allegedly hitting a photographer.
The city attorney’s office said it found insufficient evidence to support a case, which Tyson’s lawyer Shawn Chapman Holley called a “small victory for those who continue to be harassed, annoyed and even stalked by the paparazzi.”
Copyright 2008 Associated Press