LOS ANGELES: A man arrested after rushing up and touching Brad Pitt on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the movie “Maleficent” is a Ukrainian journalist with a history of getting too close to celebrities.
Los Angeles Police officer Sally Madera identified the suspect Thursday as Vitalii Sediuk. He was jailed Wednesday on suspicion of misdemeanor battery at the El Capitan Theatre and was held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Witnesses saw the man from the fan area jump over a barrier onto the red carpet and rush at Pitt, touching him briefly before security guards wrestled him back across the barrier. He was led away in handcuffs. Police could only confirm that he made contact with Pitt, and could not classify it any further.
Pitt, who was apparently unhurt, resumed signing autographs before walking into the theater.
In February Sediuk, 25, 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, and he drew Madonna’s ire a year earlier by presenting her a bouquet of flowers.
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.