Actor Gene Hackman admitting to slapping a homeless man Tuesday in New Mexico, but said he was provoked after the man approached him and his wife Betsy in a menacing manner and called her a “c---.”
The “Unforgiven” star, 82, was leaving a Santa Fe restaurant when the homeless man, Bruce Becker, approached Hackman and his wife “in a threatening manner,” according to TMZ.
Hackman owns a home in Santa Fe, the Associated Press reported.
Becker allegedly called Betsy a “c---“ and Hackman then slapped the homeless man across the face in response, the gossip website reported.
Santa Fe Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns said the homeless man called authorities around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and he was “beaten up” by Gene Hackman, E! reported.
Santa Fe cops interviewed both Becker and Hackman, who was still in the area, according to E!
Hackman told cops that Becker exaggerating the incident.
Dobyns said Hackman described his hit as “more like a slap than a punch,” according to E!
“It looked like Mr. Hackman did this purely out of self-defense to protect himself and his life,” the Santa Fe police sergeant told E!
No charges were filed in the incident, according to TMZ.
Becker did not have any visible injuries from the slap, E! reported.
Hackman rose to fame in 1967 for his portrayal of Buck Barrow in “Bonnie And Clyde,” a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The 82-year-old actor won his first Oscar in 1972 for “The French Connection.”
He last appeared onscreen in the 2004 flop “Welcome to Mooseport.”
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