Sam Worthington tried to use his celebrity card when he was arrested for allegedly attacking a photographer. The Australian actor was arrested in February, claiming he was defending “wife” Lara Bingle from a persistent paparazzo.
Both the “Avatar” star and the photographer, Sheng Li, were arrested in February in New York after a scuffle. Apparently, Li was aggressively pursuing Bingle for a long time before he allegedly blocked her path and kicked her in the shin.
Worthington retaliated by punching Li in the face, which resulted in both their arrest.
The 37-year-old actor was charged with two counts of assault in the third degree, attempted assault, and harassment. He also received a restraining order, ordering him to stay away from Li for six months.
Li was also charged with assault, reckless endangerment, and harassment.
On Tuesday, Li’s lawyer, Mark Heller, told the court that Worthington not only assaulted his client, but also tried to rob him by grabbing his camera.
Heller also painted a not-so-humble picture of Worthington, saying that the actor tried to play his celebrity card by asking the arresting officer, “Have you seen the movie ‘Avatar?’”
As TMZ noted, it doesn’t matter if Worthington really did ask that if Li truly assault him, but the lawyer knew that a celebrity pulling the celebrity card would always raise eyebrows.
And perhaps that’s what they were trying to do.
After all, when Reese Witherspoon did a similar stunt in 2013 and arrogantly asked the officer arresting her husband for DUI if he knew her name, indicating that he should know her because she was famous, it didn’t bode well for her in the eyes of public court.
Meanwhile, Worthington is scheduled to appear in court again on May 8. Bingle, whom he referred to as his “wife” during the scuffle, wasn’t arrested or charged.