Brad Pitt is offering his side of the story regarding the run-in with red-carpet prankster Vitalii Sediuk.
"I was at the end of the line signing autographs, when out the corner of my eye I saw someone stage-diving over the barrier at me," Pitt told People in a statement. I took a step back; this guy had latched onto my lapels. I looked down and the nutter was trying to bury his face in my crotch, so I cracked him twice in the back of the head – not too hard – but enough to get his attention, because he did let go. I think he was then just grabbing for a hand hold because the guys were on him, and he reached up and caught my glasses."
Jolie also commented on the incident, assuring the Associated Press, "He is fine. He was fine that night. He's a very strong man and he handled the situation perfectly, so he's good."
This past Wednesday, Pitt was greeting fans at the Hollywood premiere of his fiancee Angelina Jolie's new film Maleficent, when Sediuk jumped over a barricade to reach the actor. Pitt, who attended the premiere with Jolie and their six children, was struck in the face by the notorious journalist, who had been working for a Ukrainian television network. Sediuk has since been fired in the wake of the incident.
Following the attack, Sediuk was promptly wrestled to the ground by private security, and was then handcuffed and arrested by LAPD.
Sediuk has become known for his red-carpet antics. Earlier this month, he was detained at the Cannes Film Festival for sticking his head up America Ferrera's dress. He also famously attempted to kiss Will Smith on a red carpet in 2012.
At the 2014 SAG awards in January, Sediuk ran onto the red carpet and dropped to his knees to hug Bradley Cooper around his waist, with his face in Cooper's crotch. It was the same stunt he pulled on Leonardo DiCaprio the next month at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
His biggest prank happened at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Sediuk managed to sneak into the ceremony without passes or credentials. When it was announced that Adele had won an award, he raced on stage and attempted to take the trophy from a surprised Jennifer Lopez.
"I don't mind an exhibitionist but if this guy keeps it up he's going to spoil it for the fans who have waited up all night for an autograph or a selfie, because it will make people more wary to approach a crowd," Pitt, 50, continued in his statement to People. "And he should know, if he tries to look up a woman's dress again, he's going to get stomped."
On Friday, Sediuk plead no contest to battery and was sentenced to three years of probation, and he will be obligated to seek one year of psychiatric help.