LONDON // Christian Bale, the star of the new Batman movie 'The Dark Knight,' denied allegations of assault made by his mother and sister yesterday after he was questioned by the London police. The Welsh-born performer, 34, riding high as Hollywood's latest blockbuster film star, spent several hours at a London police station before being released without charge, his Los Angeles-based spokesman, Jennifer Allen, said.
"Christian Bale attended a London police station today [Tuesday], on a voluntary basis, in order to assist with an allegation that had been made against him to the police by his mother and sister," Ms Allen said in a statement. "Mr Bale, who denies the allegation, co-operated throughout, gave his account in full of the events in question, and has left the station without any charge being made against him by the police."
She confirmed separately that the allegation was of assault, but said she knew no further details. When asked if Mr Bale had been arrested and released on bail, a police spokesman said: "A 34-year-old man has been bailed to return to a police station on a date in September." The wording is the usual tangential way British police have of confirming news about well-known personalities. British media reports said Mr Bale was arrested following allegations of assault made by his mother and sister in relation to an incident at his London hotel suite late Sunday.
Mr Bale was in London for the European premiere of 'The Dark Knight,' which shattered box office records this past weekend by grossing more than $158 million (Dh580 million) during its first three days in North American theatres. The film also stars the late Australian actor Heath Ledger as Batman's maniacal arch-nemesis, the Joker. Mr Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose shortly after completing the film.
A spokesman for the film's distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures, a unit of Time Warner Inc., said the police inquiry involving Mr Bale would have no effect on the studio's international press tour for the movie, which goes next to Barcelona then on to Tokyo. "Everybody is continuing with business as usual," she said. Mr Bale was on the red carpet with co-stars Michael Caine and Maggie Gyllenhaal in central London's Leicester Square on Monday night.
A martial arts enthusiast and environmental activist, Mr Bale has often played troubled characters, first donning the cape and cowl of the brooding superhero Batman for the 2005 film "Batman Begins." Starting out as a child actor who appeared in Steven Spielberg's 1987 World War Two flop 'Empire of the Sun,' he went on to roles as a psychotic investment banker in 'American Psycho' and a rancher who faces down a dangerous outlaw in last year's western, '3:10 to Yuma.'