Hospitalized Kony director suffered brief psychosis - wife

Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:37am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

(Reuters) - The director of a video calling for the arrest of fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony suffered from a brief psychosis when he was hospitalized last week in California, the filmmaker's wife said on Wednesday, the same day an anti-Kony resolution came before the U.S. Senate.

Jason Russell, who directed the 30-minute "Kony 2012" Internet film that went viral earlier this month, was detained by police in San Diego last week after witnesses reported a man in "various stages of undress" who was "acting bizarrely, running into traffic" in public, police said.

"Jason's incident was in no way the result of drugs or alcohol in his body. The preliminary diagnosis he received is called brief reactive psychosis, an acute state brought on by extreme exhaustion, stress and dehydration," Russell's wife, Danica, said in a statement.

The "Kony 2012" film became an Internet sensation this month, racking up more than 84 million hits on YouTube since it was posted and thrusting its director into the spotlight.

The video's aim was to wake up the world to the atrocities committed by Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army, including kidnapping children and forcing them to fight.

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 33 U.S. senators introduced a resolution condemning Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army for crimes against humanity and supporting efforts to remove him from the battlefield.

"Joseph Kony represents the worst of mankind, and he and his commanders must be held accountable for their war crimes. Today, one-third of the United States Senate has joined me in condemning the LRA's unconscionable crimes against humanity," said Chris Coons, a democrat from Delaware who led the resolution alongside Senator Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican.

U.S. officials had already taken actions aimed at stopping Kony before Russell's video hit the Web. In October 2011, President Barack Obama notified Congress that he had authorized about 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to deploy to central Africa to help government forces battling Kony.   Continued...

Jason Russell, co-founder of non-profit Invisible Children and director of "Kony 2012" viral video campaign, poses in New York, March 9, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid