LONDON - Did Batman attack his family?
Christian Bale was arrested and released here yesterday and then denied allegations made by his mother and sister that he had assaulted them Sunday night. The arrest reportedly was delayed until after Monday night's glittering European premiere of the actor's latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight.
The British press reported that Bale was accused of lashing out at his mother and sister Sunday in his suite at the downtown Dorchester hotel. Bale was questioned by police for four hours yesterday morning and released.
Bale's London-based law firm 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."
Scotland Yard said in a statement that "a 34-year-old man" was arrested on allegations of assault, but was not charged; and later said he was out on bail to return in September pending further inquiries into two allegations of assault.
Bale's mother, Jenny, and sister, Sharon, who both live outside of London, reportedly made the allegations in a police station in the southern England county of Hampshire.
A woman thought to be Bale's sister 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 in nearby Bournemouth said she did not want to comment.
The London Evening Standard reported that allegations were brought Monday by the Welsh-born actor's mother and sister, but police held off making an arrest so as not to spoil the fun Monday night, quoting a police source as saying: "It would have been wrong to wreck the premiere over a complaint which we do not yet know is founded in truth."
Monday night, Christian Bale and his co-stars had been feted by the public and press at a star-studded premiere of The Dark Knight in London's central Leicester Square, giving interviews and signing autographs. The event, heralded by the arrival of the Batmobile and faux flames leaping out of the top of the Leicester cinema, was greeted by a huge crowd of cheering, waving fans.
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. Her assistant said yesterday that she's at a writing retreat and was unavailable for comment.
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.
Janet Stobart writes for the Los Angeles Times. The Associated Press contributed to this article.