Actor Alec Baldwin has been accused of assaulting a newspaper photographer, but Baldwin says it was the other way around.
Baldwin and his fiancée Hilaria Thomas had gone to pick up their marriage license in lower Manhattan when the altercation occurred. New York Daily News photographer Marcus Santos was standing on the sidewalk with another Daily News photographer when Baldwin, 54, approached them.
“He said, ‘Stay away from me, or I’ll break your f------ teeth,’” photographer Jefferson Siegel recalled, according to the New York Daily News. “Then he grabbed my camera lens, and tried to shove my camera to the ground.”
Santos said the reporters backed away, but Baldwin reached for Siegel. “I said, ‘Don’t touch him,’” said Santos. “Then he came right after me.”
Santos took Baldwin’s photo outside the Marriage License Bureau Tuesday morning. Santos, 42, said, “He comes after me, starts shoving and punching me — one time, right in the chin. He lunged at me like a raging bull.”
Baldwin told CBS News that he was just defending himself. The 30 Rock actor remembered, "There was a person in front of me and he was blocking him. And the guy lunged and almost hit me in the teeth with the lens of the camera. So I pushed the guy away.”
The actor turned to Twitter later about the incident. According to Fox News, he wrote, "The photographer who assaulted me has belatedly gone to a hospital claiming injuries." He added that all paparazzi should be “waterboarded.”
He also made a reference to the Trayvon Martin shooting, posting on Twitter, “I suppose if the offending paparazzi was wearing a hoodie and I shot him, it would all blow over."
Witnesses backed up Santos' description of the incident. Santos filed an assault complaint against Baldwin before going to the hospital.
According to the New York Post, Baldwin was later seen walking along Park Avenue wearing a sheet over his head.