Not the face! Brad Pitt was punched by a notorious celebrity prankster on the red carpet at the premiere of Angelina Jolie’s film Maleficent on Wednesday, May 28, a source tells Us Weekly.
Pitt was at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for the premiere of the Disney film when a man, later identified as Vitalii Sediuk—the same man who crawled under America Ferrera’s skirt in Cannes on Friday, May 16—suddenly jumped the barrier and ran up to the 12 Years a Slave actor while he was walking down the carpet.
Pitt, who was signing fan autographs, was surprised by the Ukrainian, who then made contact with Pitt’s face before security intervened and held the so-called prankster until police arrived on the scene.
Los Angeles Police Department’s Sergeant Leonard Calderon told Variety that Sediuk was taken to the Hollywood police station where he was arrested and booked on suspicion of misdemeanour battery. He is being held on $20,000 bail.
After the incident, Jolie and Pitt took some time out before resuming official duties on the red carpet. “Nobody saw or heard from Brad and Angelina for about 15 minutes,” a source told Us. “At 6:45 p.m. Angelina resurfaced and conducted her first interview. Brad walked the carpet without doing any press at all. In fact he moved so fast past the line that most people missed him.”
Determined not to let the attack ruin the occasion, Angelina walked the entire press line. “She didn’t seem to let what had happened get to her,” added the source.
Despite the upset, the mom-of-six was eager to get the message of her film across to her fans. “I think it’s a very important story to tell,” she told Us. “There’s not just good and bad in the world, we have to understand people and what people go through,” she said. “We’ve all gone through things in our lives that have made us lose ourselves for a period, and then something that helps to bring us back.”
According to an eyewitness, when Pitt left the premiere with his wife, Jolie’s father Jon Voight and his children, “he did look tense” and was “trying to shepherd his kids through the lobby and towards the back door. He was like ‘Keep tight. Stay together.'”
A Disney spokesman told Variety, “This was an unfortunate and inappropriate incident that is being investigated by the LAPD.”