Ukrainian journalist arrested in Brad Pitt assault

A fan is walked off carpet in handcuffs after allegedly attacking Brad Pitt at the world premiere of "Maleficent" at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
A fan is walked off carpet in handcuffs after allegedly attacking Brad Pitt at the world premiere of "Maleficent" at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man arrested after rushing up and touching Brad Pitt on a Hollywood red carpet is a Ukrainian journalist with a history of getting too close to celebrities.

Los Angeles Police officer Sally Madera identified the suspect as Vitalii Sediuk. He was jailed on suspicion of misdemeanor battery Wednesday before the premiere of the movie “Maleficent” at the El Capitan Theatre.

After touching Pitt, Sediuk was wrestled away by security guards and led off in handcuffs.

Pitt kept greeting fans and walked into the theater.

In February the 25-year-old Sediuk was cited for trespassing after grabbing the microphone before Adele accepted an award at the Grammys. Last year, Will Smith slapped Sediuk after he tried to kiss him on a red carpet.

Sediuk is being held Thursday in lieu of $20,000 bail.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A man was jailed on suspicion of battery after rushing up and touching Brad Pitt on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie “Maleficent,” witnesses and police said, though Pitt was apparently unhurt and soon resumed signing autographs.

Witnesses saw the man from the fan area jump over a barrier onto the red carpet at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and rush at Pitt, touching him briefly before security guards wrestled him back across the barrier.

The man was led away in handcuffs and arrested on suspicion of battery, said Los Angeles police spokeswoman Nuria Venegas, who did not know the suspect’s name. She could only confirm that he made contact with Pitt, and could not classify it any further.

Pitt kept greeting fans and walked into the theater.

Pitt’s longtime partner Angelina Jolie stars in “Maleficent,” Disney’s new live action spin on its animated classic “Sleeping Beauty.”

Before the incident, Jolie told The Associated Press that the El Capitan is like a local theater for herself, Pitt and their kids, who usually don’t attend her premieres but did Wednesday night.

“Well, oddly, we usually go to the El Capitan, that’s where we take the kids. That’s the closest theater to us,” Jolie said. “This is the first time they were able to come to mommy’s premiere.”

The man got to Pitt despite security that was heavy for a movie premiere, with guards keeping a large gap between the stars and the crowd.

Email messages left for representatives for Pitt and Disney were not immediately returned.

 

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