'Batman' arrested and released

Bale denies assault
July 22, 2008 2:52:20 PM PDT
Batman star Christian Bale was arrested Tuesday on allegations of assault, police said. The 34-year-old Bale spent four hours at a police station, but was not charged and was released on bail. British media reported that Bale's mother and sister complained he had assaulted them at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Sunday night, a day before the European premiere of "The Dark Knight."

Bale's London-based law firm, Schillings said Bale, issued a statement denying that an assault took place.

"Christian Bale attended a London police station today on a voluntary basis," the statement read. "Bale, who denies the allegation, cooperated 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."

A woman thought to be Bale's sister Sharon told reporters "it's a family matter" from her home in Corfe Mullen, 110 miles southwest of London. A man who answered the door at the home of his mother Jenny Bale in nearby Bournemouth said she did not want to comment.

The Sun newspaper said Sharon and Jenny Bale had made the complaint. Bale, who was born in Wales, has three older sisters: Erin, Sharon, and Louise Bale.

The reports surface just days after "The Dark Knight," which co-stars the late Heath Ledger as Batman's nemesis the Joker, took a record $158.4 million at the box office in its opening weekend.

Asked Tuesday whether Bale had been arrested, a London police spokesman did not refer to him by name but said: "A 34-year-old man attended a central London police station this morning by appointment and was arrested in connection with an allegation of assault."

The spokesman requested anonymity because he is not authorized to be identified under police policy. British police do not name suspects who have not been formally charged.

The force later said in a statement that the man had been released on bail pending further inquiries and told to return in September. It did not specify the date.

The Sun said police did not question the actor Monday because they did not want to interfere with the premiere of the movie, in which he stars as the vigilante crime fighter. The next scheduled stop on the film's European premiere tour was Barcelona, Spain.

Bale first made a splash as the child star of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" in 1987 and as an adult has made his name with intense screen roles. His films include "American Psycho," "The Machinist" and "Batman Begins."

In "The Dark Knight," Bale reprises the role of wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego Batman, a brooding vigilante superhero still scarred by the murder of his parents.

Bale is also the stepson of author and feminist leader Gloria Steinem. A message left at a number for Steinem was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Bale's current project is playing John Connor in "Terminator Salvation," scheduled for filming this week in New Mexico. The film "will continue to shoot with Mr. Bale when he has completed his International tour for 'The Dark Knight,"' said Lee Anne Muldoon, unit publicist for the movie.

A records check turned up no criminal record for Bale in Los Angeles, where he's lived with his wife, Sibi Blazic, and their young daughter.