“Avatar” Star Punched Photographer in NYC: Police

Monday, Feb 24, 2014  |  Updated 1:14 PM PDT
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“Avatar” star Sam Worthington was charged with assault Sunday in Greenwich Village after allegedly punching a photographer in the face, police say.

Worthington was with his girlfriend at Jane Street and Greenwich Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. when the photographer allegedly kicked the woman in the leg, according to the NYPD. That’s when the action movie star is accused of hitting the paparazzo.

Worthington’s girlfriend had a bruise on her leg, police say. The photographer, Sheng Li, had a laceration to his nose.

The Australian actor was released on a desk appearance ticket, with a court date Wednesday. His publicist didn't immediately respond to an inquiry Monday. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

The photographer was released without bail after his arraignment Monday on misdemeanor assault and harassment charges.

A court complaint says Worthington's girlfriend told police Li followed her on the streets and tried to trip her.

Defense lawyer Ronald Kuby says Li was attacked by the couple, not the other way around.

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