Avatar star Sam Worthington has been arrested for assault. The arrest took place in New York, outside Greenwich Village’s Benny’s Burritos. He was with girlfriend Lara Bingle at the time of the incident.
The actor, who moved to Australia to help his acting career, was involved in an altercation with Sheng Li, a photographer with no press credentials according to CNN. Li was involved in an altercation with Bingle, and Worthington stepped in to protect her. After Li kicked Bingle in the shin, the Avatar star punched him. When police arrived, both were arrested.
Li was charged with harassment, assault and reckless endangerment, according to E! Online, while Worthington was charged with assault. The 37-year-old has since been released on bail and will return to court later. Li was held for an arraignment.
Some footage has been released surrounding the incident. During the video, as the actor is being led to a police car, he is mentioning about the movie Avatar to the policeman. He also talks about Bingle, although calls her his wife, and says that she attempted to take Li’s camera before he intervened.
Lieutenant John Grimpel from the New York Police Department explained that Worthington was being charged with assault because he punched Li. Grimpel also explained that the Manhattan-native photographer had lacerations along his nose due to the punch. However, the lieutenant did admit that Bingle had been kicked first.
It is interesting that Bingle was referred to as the actor’s wife by the actor himself. Worthington is usually very private about his personal life and has never opened up about his relationship with his 26-year-old girlfriend. They were recently spotted with matching wedding-type rings on their ring fingers; but just days before, their reps had stated that they were not married. Rumors of their relationship only started in September when they were seen at the Global Citizen Concert held by the Cotton On Foundation.
On Valentine’s Day, Bingle shared a photograph on Instagram with an engagement-like ring on her finger, with her actor boyfriend in the photo. There was never any confirmation that there were planning on getting married.
This is not the first time the Man on a Ledge star has been in trouble with the law. In 2012, he was arrested in Atlanta for disorderly conduct after a doorman refused to let him into a restaurant. He didn’t have the right identification and was “intoxicated” according to the report. Despite witnesses, according to TMZ, the charges were dropped. The witnesses explained that the doorman sprayed the actor with capsicum spray after being pushed twice.
Worthington and Bingle were in New York for the fashion show, but Sunday Morning Herald reports that they are planning on staying there for a while because of the actor’s hatred of the paparazzi. However, Bingle is going back to Australia in March for the promotion of her collection for Cotton On Body.
The actor will remain in New York during that time. He is filming for Alive Alone, while reportedly in talks about new Avatar sequels. Worthington will have to remain out of trouble though after his recent arrest for assault.
By Alexandria Ingham
Sunday Morning Herald